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APD officer buys meals for the needy

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Albuquerque police officer Tamas Navas distributes burritos he bought with his own money to some hungry people outside Noon Day Ministries on Thursday morning. (Courtesy of Noon Day Ministries)

Albuquerque police officer Tamas Navas distributes burritos he bought with his own money to some hungry people outside Noon Day Ministries on Thursday morning. (Courtesy of Noon Day Ministries)

An Albuquerque police officer arrived at a Downtown day-shelter for the needy and homeless Thursday and found about 20 hungry people about to miss out on a meal.

The power at Noon Day Ministries had gone out. And although he was no longer needed at the shelter, officer Tamas Nadas went to McDonald’s and bought meals on his own time and dime for the 20 folks who were waiting for food, according to Albuquerque police.

Nadas, reached by phone Thursday, said he bought 20 burritos and 20 bottles of apple juice.

He’s been on the force for less than a year, he said, having come to Albuquerque from Hungary.

“I don’t think it was my duty as a police officer,” he said Thursday in a phone interview. “I think it was my duty human to human.”

He added that the folks in need at the shelter are just unlucky and deserve the respect and dignity of everyone else. He said he has done overtime shifts at Noon Day before and has developed a relationship with some of the people who go there.

Nadas was going to serve a morning shift as part of the Chief’s Overtime Program, which employs off-duty officers who are paid by private or nonprofit businesses for security or other services.

Police said Nadas did not tell anyone about the act, but that another officer brought it to light. Noon Day also issued a news release thanking Nadas for his kindness.

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