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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Harker Heights Police Officer surprises birthday boy

Harker Heights Police Officer surprises birthday boy

Caught Being Good

Sara Escobar

Evening Star

On Sunday, April 30, Harker Heights resident Braydon Riggs was celebrating his sixth birthday with friends and family at the Big Oaks Mobile Home Park. Many children often look forward to celebrating their birthdays with presents and cake, but Riggs had much more in store for him on his special day.

Two officers from the Harker Heights police department made an appearance at the mobile home park; Officer McAfee arrived first in his patrol SUV, allowing Riggs and his friends to tour inside, turn on the lights and switch on the sirens. About an hour later, Officer Fernandes arrived in his own patrol car for the children to explore—this not only surprised the birthday boy, but also the adults who worked to put his surprise together.

“I expected one officer to come out for the kids,” said Cheryl Chaney, who’s volunteered with the police department for 23 years. “I reached out to the community service department, who then put an email out to the officers on patrol that day. We were so happy with Officer McAfee for coming out, so when another officer showed up, we were all just ecstatic! It really made Braydon’s day that much more special.” Chaney went on to describe the heartwarming moment Officer McAfee placed a badge on Riggs’ shirt, and told him he would be a ‘junior police officer’ for the day. “His whole face just lit up.” She said.

“Braydon is like our own little police officer around the community,” says his mother Brandi Rice. “When we go for walks and he sees someone speeding, he’ll tell them to slow down because ‘it’s the law’. He has a huge passion for law enforcement, and the officers who came out made it even stronger. Braydon said it was the best birthday present ever—it was just an amazing experience for him and everyone involved.”

“It really speaks volumes of the great police force we have here,” says Chaney, “I believe the Harker Heights police are the best in the Central Texas area. It’s little things like coming out to surprise a boy for his birthday; you can ask anything of the police department, and they’re going to try and make sure it gets done.”

Officers McAfee and Fernandes were not available to comment, but Sergeant Miller with the police department wished to extend his praise for the officers. “We’re happy that we could give Braydon such a memorable experience.”

Chaney also wished to point out how important it is that the police get the credit they deserve for doing the work they do. “So often now, you only see the bad stuff about police, and they get a bad rap because of it. But there is so much good that these men and women do, and that should be highlighted, too.” Chaney extended her thanks to the HHPD for their outstanding service and dedication in making the city a great and safe place to live in.

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