Viral Video Features Officer Helping Homeless Man Shave For Interview

An officer in Tallahassee, Florida, saw a homeless man struggling to shave in a parking lot. He decided to help the man before a job interview.

A Tallahassee police officer is being commended by his community for his actions, helping a homeless man before a job interview. The man ultimately received a job offer.

The homeless man, identified only as “Phil,” was told he could get a job at a local McDonald's restaurant. But, it was also explained that before he could start working, he’d have to shave his beard.

He began shaving in a gas station parking lot, but without a mirror, he was unable to tell if he was doing it right.

Noticing Phil with his struggles, Officer Tony Carlson walked over to talk with him.

“When I met him in the parking lot, he was having problems with his razor and asked me if I can help,” Carlson explained. “I didn’t know if there was anything I could do, but I came over to see if I can fix it so he could shave.”

Carlson said he immediately knew he had to help the man.

“[T]he thing that caught me with Phil was that he was so excited that he may be getting a job if he just did this one simple thing,” he said. “That’s why I was so willing to help him out in any way that I could.”

So Carlson helped Phil with his razor, ensuring that he’d be ready for his final interview at the restaurant.

Many witnesses in the area were moved by the generosity they had seen and took videos of Carlson’s good deed, posting them to social media.

Carlson went back on patrol and eventually got a strange call from his wife.

“She was like, 'Did you shave some guy today?'” Carlson said. “That’s when she told me she saw it on Facebook, and it all went from there.”

Because of his generous spirit and helpful nature, Carlson’s and Phil’s video went viral. But Carlson said he doesn’t think he did all that much — it “isn’t ... spectacular,” as he put it.

His boss, Police Chief Michael DeLeo, recognizing that these acts of kindness are indeed worth celebrating, disagreed with Carlson’s modest statement.

“Officer Carlson's actions embodied TPD’s philosophy of community-oriented policing through his recent act of kindness,” DeLeo said. “We are proud of Officer Carlson demonstrating what our officers, and officers across the nation, do on a daily basis by helping others.”

We need more officers, and more citizens, like Officer Carlson out there in the world. If we all dedicated ourselves to helping each other more, rather than tearing each other down or looking the other way, this world would be a much better place for it.

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Jennifer Foster

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