New York Police Officer Buys Shoes for Barefoot Homeless Man, Says 'I Knew I Had to Help'

Stop the presses — there's some heartwarming news coming out of the NYPD! Yesterday, a photo depicting an unknown New York City cop giving a pair of winter boots to a homeless man went viral after the woman who took it (a tourist and fellow police officer from Arizona) posted the picture to the NYPD's Facebook page with this caption:

"Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, 'I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let's put them on and take care of you.' The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching. I have been in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life. I did not get the officer's name. It is important, I think, for all of us to remember the real reason we are in this line of work. The reminder this officer gave to our profession in his presentation of human kindness has not been lost on myself or any of the Arizona law enforcement officials with whom this story has been shared."

The cop, who has since been identified as Officer Lawrence DePrimo, has been inundated with support for his act of kindness. In an interview with the Today Show, Officer DePrimo said, "The two things that really stuck out in my mind that night were just how cold it was and that this was the most polite gentleman I had ever met. And I knew I had to help him." DePrimo then went into a nearby Sketchers store where, in a second random act of kindness, the store employee gave him a discount on a pair of all-weather boots. DePrimo paid for the shoes with money out of his own pocket.

Hopefully others will see Officer DePrimo's actions not just as an admirable display of compassion (which it is), but as motivation to help others as well.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy