NM cop helps homeless man with a new wheelchair

“The look on his face was certainly something I won’t forget,” the officer said


By Matthew Reisen
Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — When Albuquerque police Sgt. Jim Edison saw a homeless man panhandling from a broken wheelchair at a busy intersection Saturday morning, he decided to help out.

Edison said police received several calls from concerned drivers who saw Timothy Scott precariously positioned on the median at Montgomery and Wyoming NE.

Timothy Scott received a new set of wheels with the help of APD Sgt. Jim Edison Saturday morning. (Photo/APD)
Timothy Scott received a new set of wheels with the help of APD Sgt. Jim Edison Saturday morning. (Photo/APD)

“The median was really just the width of his wheelchair, maybe a couple of inches on either side,” Edison said.

Unable to reach out far enough, he said Scott had a cup on a stick to collect donations from passing drivers.

“I went there just to check on him, and talk to him, see if I couldn’t move him out of traffic,” Edison said.

He ended up getting Scott food, water and out of harm’s way.

When Edison went to move Scott to the sidewalk, he noticed the wheelchair was old and one of the wheels was bent, causing Scott to have a “difficult time” getting around.

Scott told Edison of a nearby church, Faith Lutheran Church, that could possibly help out.

“He heard that they have wheelchairs for people in his predicament, so I offered to go see if I could get one if the church was open,” Edison said.

Faith Lutheran partners with the organization “Joni and Friends, Wheels for the World” that gives wheelchairs, refurbished by prison inmates, free of charge to those in need.

“They are the ones who make this happen,” he said. “If they didn’t have something like this in place, there’s nothing I could’ve done for this man.”

Edison returned from the church with a new wheelchair — exchanging it with Scott for the old one, which will be refurbished and donated again.

He said Scott was really thankful and pleased with the quality of the refurbished chair and “how well it moved on its own.”

“The look on his face was certainly something I won’t forget,” Edison said.

The 11-year veteran of the Albuquerque Police Department said he was just doing his job.

“I don’t think I really did anything that anybody else wouldn’t do,” he said.

Edison said he instills two guiding principles as a leader in the department: to go home safe and to “make your momma proud.”

“One of my jobs is to set that example,” he said. “This is what we do, this is how we do our job. I don’t think it’s anything special — I certainly feel that mom would be proud.”

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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