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TX officer gives valuable gift to homeless man

CNN
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 3:29pm

Someone caught a police officer in the act of offering help to a homeless man in Odessa, Texas, and took a photo that’s getting a lot of attention.

It was an act of kindness caught on camera: an Odessa police officer kneeling down next to a homeless man, offering him a pair of boots.

Corporal Jeremy Walsh is the man behind the badge and the good deed.

"It seemed like the right thing to do. I had something that somebody else needed that I didn't need."

The photo was snapped at a shopping center near 8th street.

Walsh says the homeless man in the picture goes by AJ and is someone he's come to know during his time on patrol.

"From what he's told me, he was in Colorado for a good while. He ended up getting frostbite and losing the front parts of his feet."

The officer said he noticed AJ had been without shoes for some time.

"He used to have some steel-toed Dockers. They ended up falling apart on him. Well, I have some boots that I never wear, because they're a size too small, and they're just collecting dust in my closet, so I figured AJ could use them a lot more than I could."

Walsh, who's also an army vet, says AJ often turns down help, but he eventually took the boots.

"I saw him today. He said, 'I haven't forgotten about ya.' I said, 'It wouldn't be a gift if we were trading, bro.'"

AJ told reporters he felt the picture was keeping Walsh from his regular duties. Still, he says he's grateful.

As for Walsh, he wasn't expecting all the attention.

"I've had a lot of supportive comments and pats on the back from the guys. Transients or homeless people: they're still people. If I can help him in some way or anyone else, I can and I will."

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