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December 1, 2012

DePrimoOne of the attributes of Everyday Heroes is that they will do the right thing because that’s the right thing to do. Everyday Heroes aren’t motivated by profit, or by awards, or by recognition. They act out of an internal drive that is so inbred they hardly, if ever, recognize that what they are doing is worthy of acclaim or credit. New York City Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo is just that sort of Everyday Hero.

Officer DePrimo was working on a cold November night in Times Square, assigned to a counter-terrorism task, when he came upon a barefooted homeless man. DePrimo, Wearing boots and two pairs of socks, was cold himself. He knew the older homeless man had to be freezing. He chatted with the man and asked him for his shoe size. He left the man, but returned a short time later with a new pair of boots and socks, and helped the man put them on. This selfless act was captured on film by Jennifer Foster, a tourist from Arizona. Her snapshot — taken with her cell phone on November 14 and later posted on the NYPD Facebook Page, has made Officer DePrimo a celebrity.

Within 24 hours, the Facebook post had been viewed 1.6 million times, and had attracted hundreds of thousands of “likes” and thousands of comments. Officer DePrimo, 25, was shocked at the attention his act of kindness brought him. But what would you expect from an Everyday Hero.

As the homeless man walked slowly down Seventh Avenue on his heels, Officer DePrimo went into a Skechers shoe store, bought the boots and socks (with the help of a discount from the store manager), and returned to the shoeless man. DePrimo has kept the receipt in his vest since then, he said, “to remind me that sometimes people have it worse.”

As for the man he helped, Officer DePrimo never got his name, and he could not be immediately located on Wednesday. “He was the most polite gentleman I had met,” the officer said, adding that the man’s face lit up at the sight of the boots. Officer DePrimo offered him a cup of coffee, but “as soon as the boots were on him, he went on his way, and I just went back to my post.”

Imagine a world where every person every day performs an act of kindness that improves the lot of just one other person. Imagine a world where we all seek to emulate Lawrence DePrimo by doing the right thing.

The source for this blog post was the article “Photo of Officer Giving Boots to Barefoot Man Warms Hearts Online” in The New York Times.


Joe is the author of five thrillers, including Shell Game, which was released in June 2012.  His next thriller, The Lone Wolf Agenda, will be released in the spring of 2013.

Joe worked for nearly four decades in the financial services industry, including high-level executive positions in publicly traded institutions. Prior to his finance career, Joe served in the U.S. Army, with overseas tours of duty, including in Vietnam and Greece. He received numerous military decorations.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Nick Franklin permalink
    December 4, 2012 8:42 pm

    Great choice!!

    Sent from my iPhone

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