An Act of Kindness in a Viral World


This photo went viral from NYPD’s FaceBook page.  It shows Ofc. Larry DePrimo giving a pair of socks and winter boots he purchased to a homeless man.

It has kind of a Norman Rockwell-esque feel that I think portrays an ideal of the Patrolman that is from a bygone era.

I have recollections of officers giving money, meals, and personal items to people in need under all manner of conditions.  I once watched one of our officers, who was universally detested by the squad, give his foot-long sub sandwich to a homeless guy.  “Yeah, you need this more than I do.”   Another officer went out and bought toothpaste, milk, and bread for a shut-in woman from his own wallet.  Yet a third made sure a certain troubled family had a turkey dinner each Thanksgiving.  There are countless more stories.

This goes on all the time.  It is a lesser known part of the law enforcement profession, and maybe it should remain that way.  So much ugliness passes before us that sometimes an act of kindness without expectation of repayment or reward reaffirms our sense of goodness in the world.

Ofc. DePrimo’s gesture is much more common to police work than what society is actually privy to, what with negative media portrayals and, worse, the officers who tarnish all our badges for us.  I’m glad people are seeing this image, but I’d like them to know it’s there every single day whether they see it or not.


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One Response to An Act of Kindness in a Viral World

  1. REF NYPD Officer De Primo – In Italian, De Primo means ‘the first’. While he is not the first, last or only police officer hero – he, in kneeling to help another in need, stands very tall and maybe he is first to reach a prior unreachable person who will now spread kindness and teach the strong of us our duty to help the weaker of us. Certainly he is number one in this period of time that news remains news. Without saying a word, Officer De Primo spoke loud to people all over the world that everyone matters. I hope he gets all he deserves 1000 times over – and what follows this message is for him today and maybe he may get to read it to know how much he is saluted. Its all in a days work for the officer but to the person who took the photo , thank you for letting the world see it, for you have done something so wonderful, unforgettable and so meaningful. TRUE HEROES
    When I think of a True HERO, I think of the best
    Those that wear the bullet proof vest
    They endure smoke, danger, fire and flame
    They have police, fire or sheriff in their title and name
    They are our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marine
    And not the athletes on our favorite sport team

    Those we can admire for their achievements and skill
    But their job doesn’t require them to die or to kill
    There’s entertainment and magic in how they move a ball
    But they don’t save our lives or answer our emergency call

    True heroes care for others before their own need
    They work at high risk without personal greed
    We don’t pay them millions; when it’s what they deserve
    When we count all their sacrifices and many ways they serve

    They protect our flag, borders and prisons and our wildlife too
    Our families and pets are safer because of what they do
    And many have partners who serve them not by hand but by paw
    A double hero status protecting our freedom and law

    They deserve so much more, in respect and in pay
    And lifetime veterinary benefits for their partners who
    “Faithfully, Lead the Way”

    Their bond never broken; bad guys and enemies beware
    We have more peace and sleep better because they are there
    Let’s give them honor and appreciation and value what they do
    Reserve the pedestal for them – our Heroes so true.

    by barbara snow
    Southern Chapter
    P.O. Box 10, Bronson, FL 32621

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