“What Would Help You?”

On 16 April 2013, a police officer who wishes to remain anonymous and who works for the Madison, Wisconsin, Police Department checked up on a homeless man who had no legs. The homeless man was rubbing the stump of one of his missing legs and told the police officer, “I’ll move along.” The police officer replied that he was not there to make the man move but instead he wanted to find out if the man needed anything. The homeless man had two prosthetic legs, but he stated that he had been having problems with one of his legs. The police officer asked, “What would help you?” The homeless man replied, “A wheelchair would help.” The police officer said that he would see what he could do. He began to make calls, including to an officer at the Catholic charitable Society of St. Vincent de Paul, who located a used wheelchair that the Society was willing to donate to the homeless man. The police officer took the used wheelchair to a shelter where the homeless man was staying and left it with the staff. The next day, the police officer stopped by the shelter. The homeless man was using the wheelchair, and he said, “Thank you.”

 For Further Information: “Police Incident Reports.” City of Madison Police Department (Wisconsin). 16 April 2013


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