Police in Albuquerque received several concerned phone calls on Saturday after a homeless man was spotted panhandling on a dangerous street median in a wheelchair — and it led to an officer presenting him with a new chair.
According to police, they had received calls about the man’s safety and Sgt. Jim Edison responded to the scene.
On arrival, Edison began to talk with the man on the median with his bodycam recording the conversation.
“We’re getting a lot of calls because you’re out here in a wheelchair. Do you need me to get an ambulance for you,” Edison is heard asking.
“People are worried about you being out here, as you can understand. A guy in a wheelchair … you’re in a kind of precarious position.”
Edison learned the man had just recently been released from hospital and offered him food and water, as well as assistance moving to a safer spot on the sidewalk.
As he began to push the man, who said his name was Timmy, he noticed something was wrong.
“What’s wrong with your wheels, man,” he asked.
Once Timmy was in a safer place, police said he mentioned a nearby church that has replacement wheelchairs.
Edison contacted Faith Lutheran Church, which has a partnership with another organization that takes donated wheelchairs and has them refurbished for people who need them.
The officer is then seen meeting with someone who presents him with a wheelchair, which Edison says is “so much better than what he has.”
Later on Saturday, Timmy was presented with the wheelchair which he moved into on camera from his previous chair.
Albuquerque Police director of communications Gilbert Jr. Gallegos told Global News on Monday that Edison “obviously felt really good about it.”
“This is a good, even great example of community policing,” he said in a phone interview.
Gallegos said they had been trying to strike up more partnerships with community organizations, like churches, so they have resources they can provide to the community when they need them.
It is not known at this time if Timmy and Edison have had recent communication since he was presented with the wheelchair.