Compassionate moment between local sheriff's deputy, homeless man captured in viral photograph

PIERCE COUNTY -- A photo of a Pierce County Sheriff's Deputy sharing his lunch with a homeless man was liked thousands of times on Facebook Wednesday, epitomizing what many are calling the good side of policing in the area.

The photo was first shared by Pierce County resident Darren Bigd Ballard Sr, who snapped the photo Wednesday. Ballard said:

"Just saw this cop having a sandwich with a homeless guy in the cut wanting no attention just doing a good deed....there are good police officers out there people this made my day please share!!!!!"

Pierce County Sheriff's Office Detective Ed Troyer later confirmed that it was indeed a sheriff's deputy sharing his own lunch with a homeless person. The deputy, who didn't wish to be named, said he had encountered the man panhandling multiple times before near the intersection of 512 and Steele Street.

The deputy struck up a conversation with a man, who said that he expects to have housing in less than a month. The deputy then asked if the man was hungry, and the man said yes, he was.

"So the deputy sat down with him and shared his lunch with the man," Troyer said. "These type of incidents happen quite often in our department."

Multiple people on Facebook praised the deputy's actions.

"There are WAY, WAY, WAY more really great 'cops,' 'police officers,' or law enforcement men and women then there are bad ones!" Gordon Neitling wrote.

Others commented on the continued humanitarian effort of deputies.

"Not only is this officer sharing a sandwich but lately I have heard of our sheriff's department officers handing out Subway gift cards to homeless folks," Anita Latch said on Facebook. "Pierce County Sheriff's Department rocks!"