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A Public Servant



Ofc. Louis Deprimo, NYPD, and a homeless man

A tourist from Arizona passing through Times Square recently saw a New York City cop, Ofc. Louis Deprimo, buy a barefoot homeless man some boots on a cold night. She took a photo of it. It’s now gone viral. The Times has the story behind the picture. [2] Excerpt:

The officer, normally assigned to the Sixth Precinct in the West Village, readily recalled the encounter. “It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet,” he said in an interview. “I had two pairs of socks and I was still cold.” They started talking; he found out the man’s shoe size: 12.

As the man walked slowly down Seventh Avenue on his heels, Officer Deprimo went into a Skechers shoe store at about 9:30 p.m. “We were just kind of shocked,” said Jose Cano, 28, a manager working at the store that night. “Most of us are New Yorkers and we just kind of pass by that kind of thing. Especially in this neighborhood.”

Mr. Cano volunteered to give the officer his employee discount to bring down the regular $100 price of the all-weather boots to a little more than $75. The officer has kept the receipt in his vest since then, he said, “to remind me that sometimes people have it worse.”


16 Comments (Open | Close)

16 Comments To "A Public Servant"

#1 Comment By stillaninterestedobserver On November 29, 2012 @ 12:25 am

A greater soul than I, that man.

#2 Comment By Dan On November 29, 2012 @ 2:54 am

Hats off to the guy; he deserves any and all superlatives.

#3 Comment By EKS On November 29, 2012 @ 7:44 am

Matt. 25:40. Thank you for sharing this with us.

#4 Comment By Uncle Vanya On November 29, 2012 @ 7:50 am

Wonderful, wonderful.

Thanks for posting.

#5 Comment By Amarus Cameron On November 29, 2012 @ 8:13 am

Human decency is something that we all crave to see. It is sad that we should be so shocked when we see it.

Glad that this officer is on the beat, we need more like him.

#6 Comment By MikeS On November 29, 2012 @ 8:22 am

“New York’s Finest” — most definitely.

#7 Comment By Helen On November 29, 2012 @ 8:39 am

Why speechless? This is a wonderful and very unusual act, to be sure, but it’s not surprising to me. That sounds like the New Yorkers I know. Not to say they are all out buying shoes for homeless people — they are not. But in my experience New Yorkers are generous and warm-hearted. They are often gruff and all business, but there’s also often a willingness to help — to give you a shirt and a back to go with it, if you will — under the tough exterior.

This officer deserves all the accolades he gets for this. What a wonderful thing to do during the Christmas season. Good man.

#8 Comment By Noah G. On November 29, 2012 @ 9:18 am

Almost looks like it could be a Norman Rockwell painting.

#9 Comment By CR89er On November 29, 2012 @ 9:19 am

New York’s Finest, indeed.
“For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee?
Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.”


#10 Comment By G-diddy On November 29, 2012 @ 10:15 am

Agree with everything you said, Rod, but am I the only one wondering how long it will be before the homeless guy sells/trades the new boots?

#11 Comment By Franklin Evans On November 29, 2012 @ 10:26 am

Helen, maybe I just know Rod better, but my mind echoed his “speechless” with “Wow. Words fail to do justice…” Just a thought, no offense intended. I got lots of words below, but I took a long time finding them. 😉

Our vision has become very broad. The scope of it stretches to the thousands of miles. In a place like NYC — I lived there every summer during my teen years — there is the added conflict of the concrete jungle. We instinctively want to see as far as possible, and become nervous when our vision is blocked.

This has always been at odds with the scope of our feelings. We see pictures of this tragedy or that catastrophe, but they pale when we are confronted with such things — even though of much lesser degree or extent — right before our eyes. Personal impact is very different.

Tragedy and catatstrophe gain our immediate attention, and for very good, human reasons. When we witness the positive opposite, we have an as strong but very different reaction, one that has no sense of urgency similar to the first type.

We all know the rarity of the truly compassionate person, the one who in a Christian culture all would agree is on a path to sainthood. I maintain that we are all capable of such deep compassion, if not so consistently, nor would I accept that as a normal expectation, and while I would immediately agree to labelling that young officer “saintly”, I would also take a look around our room and see the same potential in all of us.

Recall the old cliche about stopping to smell the roses. I would amend that to slowing down and really looking around. There is much more “saintly” to be seen than we can catch in our rushing through life. There cannot be too much beauty, and human compassion is right up there with the masterpieces of every medium.

#12 Comment By Naturalmom On November 29, 2012 @ 11:42 am

Thanks for posting this. We need to hear more stories like this. I think they happen far more often than we know, and far more often than the horror stories we get fed daily on TV. It skews our view to only hear one side.

God bless both these men. Actually, I’d say He already has.

#13 Comment By Helen On November 29, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

Franklin, I see your point. Yesterday and today I am failing reading comprehension on Rod’s blog . . . .

#14 Comment By Franklin Evans On November 29, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

Don’t feel bad, Helen. I expect you to hold that mirror up to my eyes when (not if) I have a similar day. 😀

#15 Comment By PM On November 29, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

There is nothing in the world as indestructible as human dignity.

#16 Comment By AnotherBeliever On November 29, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

The world is not such a dark place after all, though there is much dark in it.

May this officer’s action inspire us each to go the extra mile this holiday season, believers of all stripes, and seekers and skeptics as well. Remember those less fortunate, especially children and people suffering from mental illness, though there’s no shortage of people in need.