On July 1, Kent Green, a police officer in Mesa, Arizona, began receiving messages from people who said they had find his photo on Facebook. Not knowing what they were talking about, he didnt know if he should be concerned. Then he learned that a local citizen had caught him in an act of kindness.
Green had been driving by a dumpster and find a man inside, who was collecting cans and bottles. Green stopped to ask him to get out, out of concern for his safety.
Weve had some deaths from people either falling asleep or camping out in a dumpster, or behind, and then the garbage vehicle comes out and it can end really badly, Green told Runners World by phone.
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As Green turned to leave, he noticed that the man might benefit from a new pair of shoes, so he asked him if hed like to try a pair on. Green grabbed one of the many pairs of running shoes he carries in the back of his patrol car, and the man gladly took them. Unbeknownst to both parties, they had an audience.
Green didnt think twice about it, but by the following day, local resident Jenny Criders post about his act used to go viral. The Mesa Police department shared the post and has pointed out that Green is a competitive runner.
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Green, 28, has been a police officer for eight years, and has been giving away his old running shoes in this manner for several years. During his peak train, the ultramarathoner runs 70 to 80 miles per week, who are capable of mean he goes through a pair of running shoes in 4 to 6 weeks. As a outcome, he gale up with many pairs of somewhat employed running shoes, which still have plenty of life left in them.
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While patrolling, Green often find people who are barefoot, which can be particularly challenging in the Arizona summers when you can pretty much boil an egg on the cement, he said. Green realized that he could set his sizing 10.5 shoes to good use.
A high school soccer player, Green ran his first marathon nearly 10 years ago. Just over a year after that, he operated his first ultramarathon and has been hooked ever sense. He has a marathon best of 2:54: 45 from the 2014 Tucson Marathon, and is hoping to run the Man Against Horse 50 Miler for the third time in October.
Though Green had told some other officers about the shoestheyd ask why he was carrying a garbage bag full of sneakers in the back of his patrol carhis gifts were mostly a private act. Until now.
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Green used to say many other policemen do similar things, he simply doesn’t know others who give out running shoes.
[ Some] pack hygiene kits, theyve bought hotel rooms for families, theyve bought food, baby supplyings, Green told. Its endless what goes unseen.
Since his recent attention over his donation, Green has heard from many people who want to contribute shoes for him to hand out.
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Its been overwhelmingly positive, humbling, and just awesome, he told, but noted that his patrol car is merely so big. But he hopes that this will inspire people to directly help others in need in a similar spirit. He also hopes it will shed some light on the many things police officers do for their communities.
I merely hope[ this] brings a little positivity to police and what they do behind the scenes every day, every night, Green told. Its not particular to Mesa, its not particular to Arizona. Its everywhere.