This is a tough time to be a police officer. Recent cases of police misconduct have caused the profession to be maligned and have catapulted the country into violent protests.

Police officers are under a microscope. But if you take the time to carefully look into the microscope, you will find countless examples of police officers committing heartwarming acts of kindness that go above and beyond their call of duty.

Those acts of kindness don’t always garner headlines, but they touch lives.

Missourian reporter Monte Miller chronicled one of those examples in a story in Wednesday’s edition. Miller wrote about how a Pacific police officer approached a young man with autism.

The officer, Stephanie Kelly, used a soft approach and compassion to comfort the scared young man and gain his trust in a situation that could have gone awry.

Kelly’s actions may not be considered heroic, but they deserve mention as an example of one of the many acts of goodwill police perform routinely.

Pacific Mayor Steve Myers praised Kelly and the young man she helped at a recent city council meeting as shining examples of all that is right in the world.

“With so much scrutiny on police,” Myers noted, “it feels so good to see something so positive.” Myers’ comments were spot on.

This is just one example of the many, many positive interactions performed by police officers every day. They rarely get credit for it, nor are they paid a salary equivalent for the service they provide.

They know they will rarely be thanked, but most certainly will be criticized. Still, they show up and put up every single day.

It’s tough being a police officer these days. That’s why we are grateful for Officer Kelly and all police officers who, like her, make a difference for the citizens they serve every day they put on the uniform.