Cops are controversial figures, no doubt about it. From corruption to police brutality, we citizens on the street have been regaled with stories told in movies like Serpico and Internal Affairs, to news events like the Rodney King and Abner Louima beatings.
But while the bad apples get all the press, there are the many quiet heroes in police departments around the country that no one writes stories about. While it was deeply moving and gratifying to read about the often-stunning heroism well-documented during and after 9/11, firemen and police alike, the day-to-day heroes are seldom heralded; those who, without fanfare, simply do the right thing because…it’s the right thing.
The New York Police Commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, decided to do something about that. He has an interesting page at the NYC Police Department website where you can, anonymously or otherwise, leave the Commissioner a message and an image of something you’ve discovered, or feel is worth noting, about the NYPD. One such message is making its way around the Net and it very movingly shares a moment of true, honest, and very good police work:
Jennifer Foster of Florence, AZ was visiting Times Square with her husband Nov. 14 when they saw a shoeless man asking for change. She writes, “Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, ‘I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.’ The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching*. I have been in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life. I did not get the officer’s name. It is important, I think, for all of us to remember the real reason we are in this line of work. The reminder this officer gave to our profession in his presentation of human kindness has not been lost on myself or any of the Arizona law enforcement officials with whom this story has been shared.”
Our thanks to the Fosters for their attention and appreciation, and especially to this officer, who remains anonymous.
Thought that seemed worth sharing with you as well. If you happen to be in New York and stumble upon a story or picture you’d like the Commissioner to know about, here’s that page again:
Send us your NYPD snapshots via Facebook message, and/or email the Department through http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mailnypd.html.