A random act of kindness was all in a day’s work for Launceston Constable Dave Simpson.
But what started as an innocuous chat with a homeless man turned into an important community conversation about emergency services.
Constable Simpson was snapped by an unknown woman during the course of his work in Launceston.
He saw a homeless man in the street, someone he has met before, and decided to talk to him. He sat down with the man, they had a chat, and Constable Simpson went to walk away.
However, his conscience called him back to the man and, after Constable Simpson bought him lunch, they departed company.
It may seem like a small act to some, but it has large ramifications.
Social media can be a harbinger of all that is negative in people’s lives, as the highly curated “Fakebook” brings people down emotionally and is the home of Internet trolls and “fake news”.
But sometimes, a random act of kindness can be the rainbow that breaks through the dull monotony of social media exposure.
The photo, of Constable Simpson and the homeless man, went viral; it touched the hearts and minds of thousands of people, who liked and shared the post.
Constable Simpson didn’t start his shift that day wanting to be recognised, but he did want to change his community.
That, for him, is what community policing is all about.
Emergency service workers put their lives on the front line every day, protecting the community and keeping us safe from harm.
Often, because they are involved in negative events, emergencies and the like, they are often exposed to people during their lowest moments.
Because of the stress involved in those moments, and the emotion that runs so highly during those times, people can associate police, and other emergency service personnel in a negative light.
But photos like the one of Constable Simpson are so important, because they show another side of police work, something they do every day that doesn’t get noticed.