HASTINGS, Mich., (WOOD) — A new officer was on the streets of Hastings Friday following an honorary swearing-in as a part of the Make-A-Wish program.
The family of 7-year-old Dre Rose says he has been dreaming about becoming an officer for a while. His mother says his inspiration stems from an incident that happened years ago when he wanted to protect her.
Dre brought his family to the Hastings Police Department Friday morning, where he put on a police hat and a custom uniform before being sworn in.
His mom Alisha Rose says he was already a hero.
“He was diagnosed when he was five with stage 2 follicular lymphoma,” Alisha Rose said.
According to the National Cancer Institute, follicular lymphoma is common cancer in adults but rarely occurs in children.
Rose says her son developed a mass on his neck. Doctors originally believed it was noncancerous swelling due to a cold. Rose says he was later given a cancer diagnosis by another physician.
“When we were told that he had (cancer), I knew we had to do something and then I worried because I do have other children. Is this hereditary? Am I going to have to do this with all of them? I didn’t really know a lot about cancer. I knew that a lot of people die from it and that was my first thought: I don’t want him to go through that,” a tearful Alisha Rose recalled.
Dre went through chemotherapy and has been in remission for a year.
His mother says there’s always a chance that the disease will return, so the family reached out to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to make his dreams of becoming an officer a reality sooner.
Officers from several departments including the Barry County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police were there as Dre and the Hastings Police chief read through the official oath of office.
Dre said some of the rules he would like to instate as an officer include “no saying bad words” and “being good to your mom.” He says his first order of business will be getting bad guys.
The 7-year-old got a chance to meet the mayor, staff at City Hall and get behind the wheel of a patrol car with his siblings.
“Just to see that pure joy and to hear that this is what he wants to do and what he wants to be and just those innocent genuine answers of ‘I want to be an officer to protect the town’ — it was awesome to see,” Deputy Chief Julissa Kelly said.
Dre’s mother said Friday was yet another moment she can be proud of.
“He’s a really great kid. He deserves this. After everything he has been through being so young, he’s deserves this,” she said.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation says there are other children just like Dre who are waiting for their wishes to be granted. They say the best way to help is to donate. More information can be found on the foundation website.