An Ottawa teen with Down syndrome had his dream come true Thursday when he became an honorary police officer for the day.
Jacob Demers-Barrett, 16, has wanted to be a cop since he was young. After his hockey coach, a retired Ottawa police officer, learned about Demers-Barrett’s wish, he made some calls.
“It was pretty clear that the dream of his was to be a police officer. So that’s kind of what got the ball rolling,” Jeff Kelly told CTV Ottawa.
Kelly asked if Demers-Barrett could follow a police officer around for the day. Instead, the force planned an entire day of activities, from pulling over a speeding car in a staged arrest to riding around in a cruiser to practicing how to aim a gun at a state-of-the-art electronic simulator.
“It was awesome!” said Demers-Barrett.
For the teen’s parents, the day was packed with emotion.
“We’re getting to the point in Jacob’s life where the realities and limitations of what he can and can’t do are starting to present themselves,” says his mother, Chantal Demers.
“This is what he thinks he’s going to do in life. This is what he wants to do. So it’s very special. It’s very emotional.”
An Ottawa Police staff sergeant said the officers involved did everything they could to make sure that Demers-Barrett’s dream could unfold perfectly.
“Every single person that has met Jacob today has had an amazing time,” says Staff Sergeant Heather Lachine. “It’s been a special day for everyone.”
With files from CTV Ottawa