A Coquitlam teenager who spent his 15th birthday in an RCMP jail got a surprise visit from an officer who wanted to "let him know that somebody cared."

Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik visited the boy in his cell over the weekend.

"This kid's had a lot of struggle in his young life but kindness matters. Hopefully my big-brother-type talks with him will resonate," Vadik said in a statement. "He was turning 15 overnight, so I went and bought him a cake and a card."

According to the force, the gift "went over really well" and the teen was given the officer's contact information when he was released.

"Obviously this isn’t something we can do for everyone, but I want young people to understand that police aren’t their enemies," Vadik said. "Any time that young guy wants to turn his life around, I’ll be ready."