In a delightfully heart-warming incident, a Halifax Regional Police officer was spotted by an onlooker sitting on the sidewalk with a panhandler on the Spring Garden Road on Thursday.
Const. Shawn Currie is the officer in question, whose picture was clicked and shared on social media, and has since gone viral. He said he had no idea a picture of him had been taken until it was shown to him by his wife.
Currie, who has worked in downtown Halifax for nine years, said that speaking with the public is one of the several attributes of his job he enjoys. He was on patrol along Spring Garden Road on Thursday afternoon when he sat beside the panhandler doing yoga on the sidewalk. Currie sat with the panhandler for half an hour, and the two men talked about life.
“People always have that perception of police officers as the enforcement side,” Currie said.
He also added that he has known the man for nine years. “We were just talking about what’s going on in his life right now,” Currie said, as reported by CBC.ca. “I’ve known him for nine years.”
Bruno Baurin, the man who took the picture, was walking by when he saw the officer and the panhandler sitting together.
“I saw the two of them having a conversation and I thought, ‘That’s totally awesome,'” he said. “It was nice, they were at the same level.”
The picture can be viewed at the end of the story.
“They’re two different walks of life, but when you look at the photo, they’re both sitting down together at the same level and just having a conversation,” Baurin said.
Holly Hawkins saw the picture online and appreciated the officer’s gesture. “I felt like it was really nice to see him treated like a human being because I mean, he is — everybody has their own story right, and it’s nice to see,” Hawkins said.
The people who work with Currie also spoke highly of his actions. HRP Deputy Chief Bill Moore said, “Our officers are out there day in and day out having conversations with people and helping them and I think it balances out what we do on a daily basis.”
As reported by GlobalNews.ca, last summer Currie wrote a pretend ticket to a three-year-old along the Halifax waterfront, an incident which received a lot of attention. “I don’t do it for setting up a picture, it’s just having fun and being part of the job,” Currie said.