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Photo of Kind NYPD Cop Goes Viral

November 29, 2012  | 

Photo: Jennifer Foster
Photo: Jennifer Foster

A New York City police officer who gave a homeless man shoes on a frosty November night has said he was surprised by the attention he got when a tourist's photo went viral.

An Arizona tourist photographed Officer Lawrence DePrimo, 25, kneeling down in front of the man outside a Sketchers shoe store. Officer DePrimo talked with the man, found out he wore a size 12, and heading inside. The store manager gave the officer his employee discount, reports the New York Times.

The photo was taken by Jennifer Foster, a civilian communications director for the Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff's Office. Foster emailed the photo to the NYPD, who posted it on their Facebook page on Tuesday.

As of Thursday, the photo had garnered more than 360,000 likes and more than 24,000 comments.

Comments (39)

Displaying 1 - 39 of 39

George Sweet @ 11/29/2012 3:24 PM

The officer was doing his job: Protect and Serve. It happens all the time there just is no one around to take a picture.

God Bless Them

Bill @ 11/29/2012 3:45 PM

These are the stories that are usually forgotten, in favor of the ones that show some alleged form of "brutality". Nice to see this.

chuck @ 11/29/2012 3:50 PM

Good move brother. Be safe blues

chuck @ 11/29/2012 3:54 PM

As a retired police officer it's ALWAYS newsworthy to show police doing questionable things - thank God someone captured the true heart of most police - this officer is a hero and represents the brotherhood at its best! God bless him and he shows what Christmas is all about!

Tom Rowe @ 11/29/2012 4:00 PM

Cops do things like this every day but it rarely gets reported. The Media and cop bashers like to focus on the few bad apples.

Retired Boss @ 11/29/2012 4:03 PM

As someone once so sagely observed - When we do right, no one remembers, when we do wrong no one forgets. Kudos to the officer. Officers like him are why I stayed with city well past 20.

robocop @ 11/29/2012 4:10 PM

As a retired LEO I have seen things like this happen all the time and the other posters are right, things like this very seldom get reported. I disagree with Mr. Sweet though, this is not our job, this is just something that we do because we are the type people who feel a deep commitment to help others.

PA officer @ 11/29/2012 4:29 PM

This happens everyday across the US, 99% of officers do the job because they honestly care. I have paid for clothes, shoes, food and lodging for homeless of those in bad situations as have thousands of my brothers. Be safe all!!

Dom Perrone @ 11/29/2012 4:32 PM

This type of unselfish act and numerous others are performed more than anyone can imagine by members of Law Enforcement. I wish I had a camera for every one I witnessed over my 35 years with the Rochester, N.Y. Police Dept. Thank you to the Photographer for this one!

Red @ 11/29/2012 4:45 PM

The main stream news outlets never have time for these stories.

Frank @ 11/29/2012 4:49 PM

Great Pic and I salute Officer DePrimo! It may have gone viral but I want to see on the 6:00 News, Fox, NBC, ABC and CBS. We need to see something positive for a change.

Lt. Robert Tester @ 11/29/2012 4:56 PM

I agree with Frank that all the major news media need to pick this one up and show the world that we do care about them. We are there for them when nobody else cares. Thanks also to the photographer for taking the time. Come on news media, give us a good jolt this Christmas!

Jim Miller @ 11/29/2012 5:17 PM

Awesome job. Over the past 22 years I've seen countless of my brothers/sisters do things like this... all without wanting attention. I've lost track of the countless toys, clothes we've bought... or the times a dad would break down and ask for money to buy food for his kids. Not to mention the diapers I've changed, the noses and tears wiped. It's what I remember most from my time in the streets.

Edwin @ 11/29/2012 6:21 PM

This is what I'm talking about, positive stories on Law Enforcement. God bless our men and women in uniform.

Ron D. @ 11/29/2012 6:30 PM

This reflects the true mission of the job, trying to help a fellow human being. Even still, I know it is a thankless job. Although from the West Coast, I have to say that I've met more than a few great members of the NYPD. Congratulations to Officer DePrimo. You are truly a credit to your profession. And kudos to Ms. Foster for taking and submitting the photo.

Jack @ 11/29/2012 6:56 PM

I just spent a week assisting my brother law enforcement in New Jersey due to hurricane Sandy. I saw officers doing this kind of stuff every day. Not for the attention, but because they truly care about people. Way to go NYPD!

A proud PSP Trooper

DaveSAM25G @ 11/29/2012 9:54 PM

INSPIRING: It does seem at times people forget to say two simple but most meaningful words (Thank You!)...This is just one of many reasons you raise your hand to make a difference when possible for all!! Need more articles or stories like this- talk about a great way to end a rough week...I was involved with another officer in the southwest who I talked with about a homeless man in the field behind our department was early fall and no way he would make winter...He got the help he needed about a year later someone tapped me on the shoulder and it was him...High and dry gained weight and had a job did not pay much but had a roof over his head and food on the table...He hugged me and thanked me this was in 1975-76 I was 21 I was only a small part of the bigger picture the other officers had the connections to made it happen...Did it then and continue to do it today...Sometimes an act of kindness or a few minutes of your time or even an arrest may be just the thing to help those who need help to turn their life around...each and every day and I will always remember what is done for those who follow, who mentored and were their when I needed them!!

God Bless stay safe and happy holidays to all you Warriors...and families!

kan yaw chong @ 11/30/2012 2:53 AM

It reminds me of the famed 'Butterfly Effect' - a tiny disturbance of the human heart can trigger a global tsunami of love and compassion that Jesus taught. when his right hand did not know what his left hand was doing! Great job Diprimo and Jennifer Forster.

Lone Wolf K-9 @ 11/30/2012 4:38 AM

The untold stories of our LEO's out there. Way to go Sir

T Corcoran @ 11/30/2012 4:55 AM

Thank you for taking that picture. Most of the time people are taking photos of our brothers in hopes of catching them doing something wrong or what they precieve as wrong. Good job brother

r gomez @ 11/30/2012 5:31 AM

what a heart brother. as a former child abuse detective its great to see that someone captured a moment like this on camera. law enforcement always get the negatives. do what you do best, protect and serve.. BE SAFE

S. Hall @ 11/30/2012 5:57 AM

This kind deed just goes to show that police officers do have compassion for those in need. That is why men and women enter this career of Law Enforcement. Its not to harass citizens as some think and say. Its to help those whom become vulnerable. Those whom have chosen the wrong path to walk. Its everyones responsbility to help each other, not just police officers, teachers, fire fighters, medic. The only thing we have in this world, is each other. Treat people the way you would like to be treated. Why do we and the media always focus on the bad. I guess its easier to riducule someone for doing something bad instead of prasing someone for doing a good thing. When you point at someone doing wrong, three of your fingers are pointing back at you.

Job Well Done Officer DePrimo! You did the right thing. You helped someone in a time that needed help. May God Bless you and your family during this Christmas Season. Stay Safe!

Bob @ VA @ 11/30/2012 6:22 AM

Officer DePrimo showed the true heart of service that motivates the vast bulk of LEOs, with nice support from the store clerk who provided the employee discount. I'm almost surprised that the MSM even picked up the story, given their predisposition to control public perceptions by filtering their reporting. May God bless all involved.

S.S @ 11/30/2012 6:37 AM

Good move Officer. Something like this makes us all as police officers makes us ALL look good. You did a great thing, and happy holidays to you and your family.

John Koss @ 11/30/2012 6:48 AM

I been a Police Officer over Fourty-One (41) years and this is what gives us a good name. Good work Officer.

Jim @ 11/30/2012 6:56 AM

This is an officer with a good heart. My compliments to him, and the many just like him.

KJG @ 11/30/2012 7:05 AM

God bless that LEO. Before she retired, my wife would arrest them. Then when they got out she would buy them a meal, take them to church, help them find a place to live. She watched over the homeless like she was their mother. This is an excellent example of how 99% of cops are. They stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves.

PC @ 11/30/2012 7:22 AM

My hat is off to the Officer to show such compassion to another human being in need and my hat is off to the photographer for taking a photo of this act and sharing it for all too see. Although this happens much more often than people think it is very rarely shown to the world that Police Officers are not the brutal force shown on the 6 o'clock news.

Great job!!!

Sal @ 11/30/2012 8:00 AM

It is always nice to see NYPD get good press. These are things we do all year long, but we do not publisize it. That is what makes it such an honorable deed and profession. Stay safe my brothers and sisters. Merry Christmas!

John @ 11/30/2012 8:22 AM

I did stuff like this often on patrol. It's pretty cold where I work and there are many homeless. I always carried a large box of hand warmers in the car and gave them out when I saw the need. Sometimes even get folks a hot cup of coffee. I'm not the only one of course. I know of other officers who give people clothing, coats and blankets to keep them warm. You folks are right - most people only look for the bad side or what they "suspect" or "assume" is bad with policing. Too often they don't see or hear of the daily and routine acts of kindness we perform. Police officers are generally decent folks who care about helping others in their communities. That's why they do the job. It's great this officer got the deserved publicity but folks shouldn't be so surprised by it. This is what we do.

Thom Burke @ 11/30/2012 11:04 AM

God bless him. What a mitzvah.

Jim McNiell @ 11/30/2012 12:44 PM

A Class Act! It is encouraging to read and see on the national news the positive side to law enforcement.

CRA @ 11/30/2012 3:44 PM

Thanks to Jennifer Foster, the civilian who took the time to report this act of kindness. And, God bless those who serve with a kind heart...

Dan @ 11/30/2012 4:36 PM

I only scanned through the comments, so if this was mentioned, I apologize. I find it interesting that the photographer is a LEO or attached to "our" family. As it was said many times, the MEDIA does take the time to publicize these acts because they do not get people to "tune in." But yes, these self-less acts happen on a daily basis, but they are done for our own satisfaction, not for the world around us. We know what kind acts we do for people, and that is enough for us. It is the way society has changed. If I hear one more parent tell their kid, "You better behave or that Deputy/Officer is going to take you to jail," I am going to take them in for Child Endangerment. BE a real parent and raise your kids. Dont call 911 because you cannot handle your child anymore and they just wont listen. Anyway, sorry. I am glad someone caught this act on film, but this will continue happen every day by our brothers, photos or not. Keep safe out there.

CT LEO RET @ 11/30/2012 7:05 PM

Officer DePrimo's actions bring out the true meaning of Christmas. He did something to help out his fellow man, not seeking anything in return, other than maybe feeling good inside because you helped make someone's life better in a small way. God bless him, and keep him safe a well as all of my brothers and sisters in blue.
Matthew 5:9 'Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God'

Frank @ 12/1/2012 5:35 AM

Look at all the good work that gets ZERO media attention. Maybe its about time that LEO's and their departments across the USA start a media snowstorm of all the great things that are done everyday. So lets get out and toot our own horn!

Adrian Stroud @ 12/1/2012 4:59 PM

Great job Officer! We all know in our hearts what we do for people out there. When you retire and wonder if anyone ever cared, think back to those moments and be proud of yourself. Think of the homeless you helped and the ones you talked out of committing suicide. Ours is the best job on Earth.

James Kojak @ 12/3/2012 7:50 AM

You a good man Officer DePrimo and you set the example for all of us. Thank you for helping that poor soul.

C. Kimbell @ 12/3/2012 2:50 PM

WAY TO GO Officer DePrimo !! It's nice to know there are some of us left out there on the streets with a "heart." Merry Christmas to a "brother in blue."

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