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Video: 10-year-old serves with Ga. PD, fire department for a day

Arya Patel, who has osteosarcoma, spent the day motivating officers, fighting crime and running drills with firefighters

By Jake Busch
Marietta Daily Journal, Ga.

AUSTELL, Ga. — A 10-year-old boy had his wish come true Friday when he was sworn in as a member of both the Cobb County Police and Fire departments.

Arya Patel, who has osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, spent the day motivating officers, fighting crime and running drills with firefighters as part of Make-a-Wish Georgia’s effort to turn his dream of being a police officer into reality.

“It makes me happy and it makes the other people that are in the hospital happy and not be scared,” Patel said of his day.

Patel said his passion for police work stems from a desire to save people from being hurt and killed.

“I’ve seen police officers catching bad guys ... so I’d love to be a police officer,” Patel said. “I feel a little nervous, but I’m going to be brave.”

The young man received a true hero’s welcome at the Cobb Police Training Center early Friday morning, arriving in a SWAT BearCat vehicle behind a police motorcade.

Various Cobb police vehicles with flashing lights lined the parking lot as the motorcade drove in, and a pair of officers set off smoke machines to welcome Patel and his parents, Paresh and Sangitaben, to the center.

Upon walking into the building, the family was greeted by two rows of cheering police officers and staff lining Patel’s path to the auditorium where he would be sworn in.

In the training center auditorium, those officers and staff, in addition to police recruits, watched as Cobb Public Safety Director Michael Register and Cobb Fire Chief Bill Johnson swore Arya into the police and fire departments, respectively.

Patel was dressed in a custom-fitted police uniform, including badge and belt. He also received a framed 100th anniversary police badge and his own Cobb Fire badge after taking the oath.

Then it was off to save the day and make forever memories for Patel and his parents.

Register said after the swearing-in ceremony that it was special to be a part of making the boy’s wish come true.

“At the heart of public safety is how we impact people’s lives,” Register said. “How impactful it is to impact a young person’s life like we did today with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.”

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