Letter Re: Good Samaritan Bag

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HJL,

I commend B.F. for their forethought to pack for others, items that could mean life or death when exposed to the elements, especially during this time of year. In the 1990’s, I was a police officer in an uptown, N.Y.C. precinct, working the midnight tour (shift). One area of the precinct had thousands of elderly residents who lived in their apartments as they had for decades, some alone, many with home-health aids who would just go to sleep and ignore those in their care. (Many of the elderly were Jewish, with the tattooed numbers of the Nazi’s still plainly visible on their forearms.)

It was inevitable that, at least once a month, we happened upon an elderly person, (mostly women for some reason) wandering the neighborhood wearing anything from a night gown to nothing at all. Needless to say, December through March in New York is NOT the time to take a stroll to the market in one’s undergarments, particularly at 3 AM.

We took to keeping a full length, snorkel-type jacket or down coat with a pair of boot-style fuzzy slippers, and a knit ski cap folded as small as possible in the trunk of the car. These came in handy a few times for rape victims as well.

A CAUTION concerning MEN: Darn near every cop has a “naked man” story to tell. Most are hilarious; some are tragic. The odds that a random naked male, walking down the street, is psychotic, drunk, or drugged beyond belief are far too great. Do not risk being injured, killed, and/or eaten. (I’m NOT kidding; I still have bite scars.) A guy at the scene of a car wreck, or who has just been pulled from a frozen lake, is fine. For the wandering “naked man”, call 911 and let the paid suckers (police) deal with the headache. – The NY Paddy!

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