A 4-year-old with sickle cell disease had his dream of becoming a police officer come true with help from the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Chicago Police Department.
Khalil, who was diagnosed with the disease at birth, wanted to be a police officer his entire life. On October 2, that wish came true. He spent the day with the CPD, touring its SWAT team, bomb squad, equestrian and canine units. He got to try his hand at operating a police robot and a battering ram, took on a trip on the lake in a police boat and even got to ride in one of the department’s helicopters.
At the end of the day, a swearing-in ceremony held at the Chicago police academy honored the young boy with a badge and special police officer status. Bagpipes played and Khalil was handed a special badge and certificate.
“What an honor for me, to have an opportunity to see our youth, to provide a wish, to work with a great organization like Make-A-Wish and to honor Khalil,” CPD Chief Ernest Cato said.
“I want to tell you I’m very proud of you. I’m proud of what you’ve already decided to do at such a young age,” he told Khalil.
Khalil was also surprised by representatives of the Chicago Fire Department, who presented him with a certificate to become an honorary CFD member.
His mother, Tasha-Parker Hall, told the Chicago Sun-Times that his favorite part was getting a police escort from his home.
“He’s obsessed with the police,” Parker-Hall said. “So if we are riding in the car and he sees the police he goes like, ‘Police! police!’”
Khalil also enjoys watching videos of police on YouTube.
Parker-Hall added that she felt “blessed” that her son could live out his dreams of becoming a police officer, even if just for a day.
Due to having a higher risk of stroke, Khalil has to get brain scans every month, as well as monthly blood transfusions to mitigate the risk.
“He’s really strong. He motivates me,” his mom said.