Last night I was by City Hall Park, having just exited at the Brooklyn Bridge subway stop. I was meeting my brother for dinner downtown and was calling the restaurant to adjust the reservation when out of the corner of my eye, I saw an NYPD Officer standing by the entrance to the park.
A few feet away from him was an obvious EDP (Emotionally Disturbed Person) who was rambling on and on and on about something that sounded like a conspiracy theory. This woman was disheveled and crazed, standing in front of the Officer and perhaps blocking his view.
Here's what I observed: an NYPD Officer not encouraging her, but acknowledging her, ever so slightly. He was not being rude, he didn't insist that she move along, he was simply tolerating this woman who obviously felt that he was positioned there purposely to be her sounding board. I saw him trying to look past her as well and keep his eyes open for whatever might be going on around him.
I took this all in quickly, then kept it moving over to the restaurant. But here's what occurred to me on the way there: this is the unseen thing that NYPD Officers do on any given day...the thing that the News Media will never report about...the moment that you will never see someone re-tweet.
Truth is, I find it sad. How many times has an Officer like that one had to simply be courteous, use professionalism and respect with someone who will never acknowledge it? Where are the cameras when CPR is deployed in the field?
Some say God's eyes are enough. I don't disagree.
I would just like someone to see the unseen.