I’m late to this story, but perhaps you missed it too

NYPD patrolman buys warm boots for homeless man. I guess it’s been on the news but who reads local news? I found this in a British tabloid. In Greenwich, the guy would probably have held out for Manolo Blahniks, but hey …

Officer Deprimo said he was patrolling Times Square in the heart of Manhattan when he came across the man, who was huddled next to a storefront with nothing on his feet, the New York Times reports.

‘It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet,’ the officer told the Times. ‘I had two pairs of socks and I was still cold.’

Officer Deprimo said he talked to the homeless man and found out his shoe size: 12.

He watched the man stand up and walk slowly, painfully, down the cold pavement of the sidewalk on the balls of his feet.

The 25-year-old officer went into a nearby Sketcher’s store and found a $100 pair of winter boots that he believed would keep the man warm through the winter.

The clerk, moved to the story, gave the officer his employee discount – 25 percent off.

Officer Deprimo said he keeps the $75 receipt as a reminder that ‘sometimes people have it worse.’

Deprimo, who lives on Long Island with his parents, joined the force in 2010.

The photo was taken by Jennifer Foster, a 911 dispatcher from from Pinal County, Arizona, who was in New York for Thanksgiving.

When she got home, she emailed the photo to the NYPD, which posted it to the department’s Facebook page.

She said she took the picture because the scene reminded her of her own father, a 32-year veteran of the Phoenix police department. She remembers as a child watching him give food to a homeless man.

‘He squatted down, just like this officer,’ she told the Times.

19 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

19 responses to “I’m late to this story, but perhaps you missed it too

  1. Libertarian Advocate

    Officer Deprimo is a GREAT cop!

  2. How sad a commentary on life that one man helping another seems a rare enough gesture that it has to go viral for people to oooh and aaah. Random acts of kindness should be part of everyone’s core being. From something as simple as holding the door for the person behind you or saying thank you or buying a homeless person shoes. This man did what his heart told him was right. The fact that he was wearing a policeman’s uniform is irrelevant. That the media makes it about the policeman and not the man bothers me. Had you been spotted kneeling to help this man, would anyone have taken the photo?

    • The significance of the story, to me, and the reason for focusing on Officer DePrimo’s occupation is, again in my view, that it illustrates a person who has stepped outside his public role: a policeman here, but it could have been lawyer, Wall Street Master of the Universe, or garbage man (or lowest of all, a real estate agent) and acted as a human being and child of God, recognizing the basic humanity of someone else whose identity is also obscured by a role, in this case, that of wino/drug addict.

      Holding doors for strangers, being polite to lowly store clerks and not giving them part of our own foul or troubled mood, and just being kind to those we encounter in daily living all can serve as a reminder to be grateful for what blessings have been given to us – that this was a cop surprises most of us because it’s such a dramatic, attention-grabbing departure from the blue-uniformed enforcer we usually see. A 2X4 upside the head can have a salutary effect on those of us in a daze and that’s what this man’s random act of kindness did. It’s not about the wino, who will surely sell his new boots for booze or dry goods or have them stolen at a homeless shelter, it’s about the cop, or any of us.

  3. Greenwich Gal

    Nice story, CF. That officer is a true public servant and a compassionate human being.
    Now let’s contrast this man with the person who calls himself “The Governor” here on this blog. Someone who says everyone cheats, including himself, of course, and disparages the “little people” of Greenwich in their “little houses.” Ugh. Whoever he is, I hope he has not reproduced so there is little to none of his toxic gene pool in the world.

  4. I believe Deprimo would tell you his role as a policeman is to protect and serve. So, in my mind, he was being a policeman, inside his public role, not outside. Like all the firemen I know, policemen by the very nature of choosing the profession to serve, are inherently compassionate. I’m not trying to diminish this man’s act of kindness. It was real. But I bet policemen everywhere give back in ways we never hear about. Ask GPD what they do.

    • It’s the role of the Salvation Army to pass out blankets and shoes to the poor, not the NYPD. Of course policemen can perform spontaneous acts of kindness but when they do they’re stepping out of their assigned duties as cops and serving a higher authority. I’m guessing here, but judging from Officer Deprimo’s Italian name and his act of charity, he was raised a Catholic – that church does a great job of instilling a sense of sense of duty about these things. I’m not Catholic so I can just step over these bums and keep going – speeds my journey around life.

  5. Anonymous

    It is a great story. NY policeman are not exactly well paid and generally endure quite a lot of risk in their jobs. Although many people express kindness in different ways I still find it at a very touching and inspirational story.

  6. Walt

    Dude –
    You scribbled: “Holding doors for strangers, being polite to lowly store clerks and not giving them part of our own foul or troubled mood, and just being kind to those we encounter in daily living all can serve as a reminder to be grateful for what blessings have been given to us…”

    Are you frigging kidding me? This from the man who perfected pissy? This from a man who “earns” his living screwing buyers and sellers alike out of every last nickel? This from a man whose role model is Scrooge?

    Just messing with ya!!
    Nice post, Pumpkin Head.
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  7. AndyD

    If i could retire after 20 years on the job with an $80k pension for life and full benefits, i would buy a lot of people shoes too.

  8. FlyAngler

    Hey, AndyD, does your current or past occupations cause you to consider wearing body armor everyday? Does your occupation call for you to potentially put your life on the line daily? Does your occupation put you in a position that your using your primary weapon to defend yours or other lives immediately opens you up to vilification, investigation and public scrutiny?

    What a smug piece of crap you seem to be based on that comment! I hope it was a thoughtless moment and not indicative of a warped world-view. If it is how you truly feel, why don’t you post your real name and address so your local police can log your sentiment in their memories should you ever have to depend on someone responding to a call by you to 911?

    Sorry Chris, I have to call a turd a turd.

  9. AndyD

    Ha! “smug piece of crap” ??? too freaking funny. dont get all worked up over something you read on a blog. c’mon, live a little. life is too short to care what some anonymous person writes on a blog.

    since it seems to upset you, know this: A.) i have nothing but respect for the men in blue who keep me safe in the city every day i come to work. i was merely offering an alternative view to a consensus that has taken over the web. B.) My charitable giving, on both an absolute basis and (more importantly) relative to my take-home pay is most likely much higher than most public servants. of course i can’t confirm this statement, but if had to guess based on the few i know closely, it certainly is.

    Cheers

  10. Fred2

    Here’s the thing, policing is dangerous work we all know that…

    However, does it not seem a little excessive that a cop retires after 20 years ( remember he started at 20-22, most cops do not go for deep education studies for until age 30 before starting a career) so generally speaking he’s barely middle aged, is healthy with a full and quite decent pension which he can then retire on for the next 30-40+ years ? 9<– not actuarially viable, that)

    And combine that with a second career which given he has a full pension he can often undercut the non-pension competition on for many trades/professions?

    I'd have no objection If the pension started paying out at 65 (earlier in the case of real & serious disability). Just like I deeply believe that no retirement benefits should start before then, but especially for politicians ( and their vesting period should be over 20 years too, and not pay out until retirement age.)

  11. GPD Folk

    Thank you Fly Angler for your own act of kindness….EOS, I have always believed that if you want to be a Police Officer, Firefighter or a Paramedic then you have to have a genuine interest in helping people. There have been plenty of times where collections are taken up at GPD or where the Officers on scene reach into their own pockets without telling a soul. Gas, Money, Train Money, Diaper Money….The Social Services process can often be cumbersome….sometimes you just take care of it yourself.

  12. GPD: I know first hand of the acts of kindness local fire and police departments do for their own members and for the citizens they serve. I am the proud mom of a firefighter whose heart is incredibly deep and his desire to help profound. You all do great work every day.

  13. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, he’s probably already turned around and sold the boots for $20 to pay for a hit of whatever. He’s got a decent jacket and a backpack… he wasn’t sitting barefoot outside an expensive shoe store by accident. Kind and generous young cop… but he probably would have done the man a better favor by pointing him in the direction of the nearest homeless shelter or soup kitchen. He’s been on the job for less than two years. He’ll learn, eventually, that some people are too consumed by addiction to be concerned about even the most basic of needs.

    “And while the officer also offered him a cup of coffee, ‘as soon as the boots were on him,’ DePrimo said, ‘he went on his way.”

    Sorry to be so negative, but this has been weighing on my mind all day.

  14. GPD Folk

    Anonoymous @550pm…I’ve been duped plenty of times..I remember the first when a kid of about 18 told me of his trek to North Carolina to return to his family and how he had been robbed in NYC and mysteriously ended up in Greenwich Ct….I should have realized that he was now travelling in the wrong direction…. I gave him a 20 dollar bill to get the train into NYC and dropped him off at the train station….the next thing I know I’m arresting him for breaking into cars in the Greenwich Plaza Parking Lot. FYI before we put him in the cell block I took back my 20! :)