A Palatka police officer whose random act of kindness last week is making waves on social media is getting heaps of praise for going above and beyond the call of duty. Last Friday, Officer Mike Meredith was talking with Corey Daniels, who’s homeless, in the parking lot near Town and Country Shopping Plaza when he noticed the man’s shoes were in tatters, according to the police department.
“I noticed his toes were sticking out of his shoe. My sergeant actually said his toes are hanging out of his shoe. They’ve been worn so much, there was literally no writing, so I held it up to my shoe and I said, ‘Well, I wear a 12 so he’s probably a ten-and-a-half,” said Meredith.
Then Officer Meredith walked into a Payless store across the street where he bought Daniels a brand new pair of shoes and wished him a Merry Christmas. Meredith said this sort of encounter isn’t entirely uncommon.
“80 percent of our calls are not pulling guns out and trying to shoot people. We’re trying to make relationships with our community,” he said. Meredith said the role of police isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be on TV. When he exits his patrol car, it’s likely to help someone in need, he said. In this case, the entire exchange was captured on his departmental-issued body camera.
“When I walked off, I had a couple of extra polo shirts that I was going to get rid of in my trunk, so I gave him my Under Armour polo too because he’s been wearing the same clothes every day I’ve seen him for the last couple of weeks.”