Video of police officer shaving a homeless man’s beard to help him get a job goes viral

'I am so proud to live in a community where our deputies and officers are such wonderful people'

Kimberley Richards
New York
Tuesday 24 July 2018 17:22 BST
Florida police officer gives a homeless man a shave

A police officer received widespread praise after a video of him shaving a homeless man’s beard went viral.

Tony Carlson said he saw a man, later identified as Phil, was having issues with his razor.

The officer from Florida's capital Tallahassee said that when he approached Phil, he asked if he knew how to fix it.

“I looked at it, and it was missing a screw,” he told a press conference. “Obviously I didn’t have a screw, I just tightened up the other one to the point where it actually worked.”

Phil then tried to shave his beard himself, but without a mirror the task was difficult, he said, adding that he helped to remove it.

The homeless man explained that he would have the opportunity to work at a local fast food restaurant if he returned with a “clean shave”, Officer Carlson said.

“He was excited… there was a chance he was going to get a job if he just did this simple thing of trying to clean up."

Kelly Duvall shared a photo, captured by her daughter, of Mr Carlson helping to shave Phil’s beard on Facebook. The post has since garnered more than 15,000 shares and 36,000 likes.

“I am so proud to live in a community where our deputies and officers are such wonderful people,” she wrote. “Good job Tallahassee Police Department!!!”

In a separate interview Greg Wallenfelsz, who filmed the interaction and posted it on social media, told CNN that he happened to be nearby as it unfolded

“I thought it would be nice to share with others this selfless act of kindness this officer showed this stranger," he said.

Local Tallahassee radio show host Greg Tish later interviewed Phil who shared details of his experience with Mr Carlson. Phil told Mr Tish that employees of local McDonald's chain told him to “clean up” his beard and that he would then have an opportunity to work for the restaurant helping with maintenance work.

McDonald's hasn't immediately returned The Independent's request for comment regarding Phil's prospects with the company's local Tallahassee restaurant.

“I still have to get my ID and social security card,” Tish explained, adding that he hoped to start work soon.

A company spokesperson told the Tallahassee Democrat that a job will be held for Phil as long as his background checks clears and he provides an ID.

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