When You Wish Upon A Star (Or A Shield)

By: Ann McIntire Email
By: Ann McIntire Email

A group of children along with their families saw some dreams come true during a Make-A-Wish celebration Saturday in Omaha.

As the special crews suited up at the Douglas County Sheriff's Department headquarters off 156th and Maple, deputies and "recruits" alike prepared for a drill. These helpers were recipients of Make-A- Wish in Nebraska, celebrating the 2,000th wish by re-enacting the very first wish granted in the state, to be a law enforcement officer.

“He's just had a blast being a deputy for a day,” said Mike McClellan, whose 7-year-old son Jacob was one of the 15 former Wish children. His favorite part was being part of the SWAT team. “Put your hands on your head,” said Jacob.

With veterans by his side, Jacob made an “arrest” and led his "bad guy" out to a cruiser. "You're very noisy!”

“They're really getting into it, giving their commands, doing what they're supposed to, telling the bad guys what to do, they're having a great time,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Richard Lally. “We're showing them all the tools of the trade that we use and the families are really enjoying it, so are the children."

The deputies tried to show the children as much about their jobs as they could. “When you were outside the car, did you see the lights flashing?”

They were also getting something out of the exercise. "It really is overwhelming, the Make-A-Wish people were saying it would be very eye opening, which it is,” said Lt. Lally. “I really didn't think it would be this emotional and having the outpouring from the office and Make-A-Wish and the parents and the children, but everything's going great, everyone's opening up and everyone's having a great time and it really is quite fulfilling."

“Now tell him sit down and be good."

"Sit down and be good."

Good job, high-five, awesome."

The kids also got to take part in a “high-speed” chase and interact with the K-9 units and the crime lab. More than 50 volunteers took part to make this day possible.

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