Officer’s Act Of Generosity To Homeless Man Caught On Camera

Matthew 6:4 tells us “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

This Biblical verse was seen in action when a Knoxville police officer who was unaware that she was being captured on camera while she was doing an amazing act of kindness on camera during a call on North Broadway last week.

Act of kindness

Officer Dana Crocker was on patrol when she got a call about a man in distress, flailing his arms and walking along North Broadway, possibly intoxicated. It was 10:15 a.m when she found the man sitting in front of the Arby’s in Fountain City. She said, “So when I pulled up, it appeared he was in some distress. So I pulled up and got out of my car and I was like ‘hey, what’s going on?’ And he was like, ‘I’m starving,’” Crocker said.

Arby’s was closed at the time, so Crocker asked him if she could pick up food from Sonic for the man. “I was like ‘well, how about Sonic?’ And he was like ‘yes, Sonic. I’d like a double cheeseburger with ketchup and and a large, the biggest Dr. Pepper you can bring me.’ So that’s what I did,” Crocker said.

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After bringing the man in need some food, Crocker continued talking with him and realized he was barefoot. She helped him with that too. “I tried to call a couple of local churches that might have some assistance with clothing and nobody had anything. So I went to the store and found him a pair of tennis shoes, and some socks and a T-shirt. He needed a new T-shirt,” Crocker said.

Viral photo

A bystander took notice of the situation. Danielle Trent posted in a Facebook group about what she saw Crocker do. “This photo may not look like much, but what you are seeing is a man without shoes and a dirty shirt on. He was sobbing in the parking lot. Right as I made up my mind to go over and see what I could do to help, this police officer pulled in and gave him a pair of shoes and a new shirt,” Trent’s post read.

Crocker was modest and said she didn’t buy the man food, shoes, socks and a shirt to attract attention. She said police officers respond to similar calls often and they don’t respond to information they receive from dispatchers alone. “Sometimes they are intoxicated. Sometimes it is a mental illness and with our experience, police officers know this. You know, we can’t go in just going on what the dispatchers tells us or what other people observe. We just have to go check on people and make sure they are okay,” Crocker said.

Most of the Police are lending a helping hand

She said there are many police officers doing good deeds behind the scenes. Crocker said officers aren’t only there to enforce, but they protect, help with social work, and really, help in any way they can. “It’s not just me, it’s not just the Knoxville Police Department, it’s officer everywhere. If somebody needs something and we can help, that’s what we try to do,” Crocker said.

Trent said, “This was a wonderful thing to witness in the world we live in today. It also gave me a moment with my kids to teach compassion and a lesson on choices we make in life. I don’t know this man’s back story nor do I know his mental status I just hope and pray he takes this gift to help him with future endeavors,” Trent’s post read.

“He said um, ‘people call on me all the time and if I need something I know you guys will come and help me.’ And he said, ‘just like God sent you this time, he’ll take care of me,’” Crocker said. After she gave the man food and clothes, he left. Crocker said she wanted to get the man in touch with local resources, but he declined.

Crocker not only patrols the streets of Knoxville, but also the hallways in Knox County Schools as a student resource officer. We are so proud to have generous and compassionate police officers like Crocker patrol our streets and look after the needy.

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