HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - As we move forward from Harvey, it’s easy to get frustrated or focus only on your own situation. There’s a lot going on.
But leave it to a cop to remind us all how easy and simple it is to be kind.
Sandra Mata and her husband are working to care for their 6-month-old son, Alessandro. While Harvey didn’t destroy the family’s Cypress home, it did impact her husband’s job.
As a result, they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and getting help from her parents. Mata also recently started working again.
Thursday morning, as she was on her way to work, she circled back to her home along Barker Cypress. She forgot her purse. During that detour, a Harris County Precinct 5 Deputy Constable pulled her over.
“He told me that my registration was expired, and he was going to give me a warning,” Mata said. “And I just felt so overwhelmed. I was just crying, and I felt so bad.”
Deputy Justin Kmiec handed her the warning, which was folded up, before he went back on patrol. Mata didn’t look at the warning until she got home.
“And I saw that he wrote that note on there for me. And I just started crying. It brightened my day to know that he cared that much for just a random person,” said Mata, who then read the deputy’s handwritten note:
"Have a good upcoming weekend, and I’m sure things will get better soon!"
Deputy Kmiec has been with Harris County Precinct 5 for three years. He’s working the graveyard shift this week.
He hasn’t heard Mata say, “It showed me that somebody cared,” and the deputy doesn’t know she posted his note on Facebook.
“I want people to know that there’s good cops and there’s people who can make your day. Some positivity," she said.
Her original Facebook post has 700 “likes” and more than 40 positive comments.
While that note was 100 percent the deputy, that warning actually came from Austin. The DPS is giving everyone in a Harvey-affected county an additional 45 days, from Aug. 31, to get their registration taken care of.
Deputy Kmiec is expected back to work Friday night. Mata has this message for him: “Thank you! It’s super simple but powerful at the same time.”