NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Police practices have been scrutinized a great deal over the past year, but a New Haven cop captured on camera in a crosswalk is generating quite the positive buzz.
New Haven police officer Chris Acosta, an eight-year veteran, says he enjoys the social interactions on the job the most.
"I get to see people in the community walking by and just make conversation, small talk," said Acosta. "I find that to be probably the best interactions."
He is keenly aware that police are now under an incredible microscope.
"I think any opportunity to have positive interaction, show a little bit of light, a little bit of love, I think it’s ideal," Acosta said.
He found out you never know who's watching.
"Some of the Regional Water Authority crews were in New Haven cleaning water mains and the officer was helping direct traffic and keeping people safe," said Dan Doyle of Regional Water Authority.
A Regional Water Authority crew, working at Chapel and Church Streets last week, snapped a picture of Acosta's interaction with a woman crossing the street.
"I saw a woman that needed help walking across the street, an older woman carrying some heavy bags," Acosta said. "I saw an opportunity to just help her out."
The RWA posted the picture to their Facebook page.
"Our crews took a picture because we wanted to thank him and recognize him for being a good neighbor and for community service and that commitment to safety," said Doyle.
Acosta calls what he did ordinary, but he didn’t just carry the woman's bag. He held her hand.
"I think connecting with people a little bit above and beyond just hi and by is I think it’s important," Acosta said.
The Regional Water Authority crew also witnessed Acosta assist an overdose victim that same day.
"Just made sure that he was alright, alert and conscious and you know got him off to the hospital to get him the help that he needed," Acosta said.
He started his professional life as a finish carpenter and a framer and never imagined getting into policing. But he was also a youth minister at one point in his life and that’s where some of his patience and perspective comes from.
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