A student at Calera Elementary School got a big surprise today when he was notified that he will serve as “Honorary Officer for the Day” with the Calera Police Officer on December 6. His first assignment as an “honorary” officer will be to ride in a police car during the city’s annual Christmas parade tomorrow night.
MJ Burks, a kindergarten student at CES, was recently featured on a Fox 6 news story about the school’s Thankful Turkey. In the story, he noted his thankfulness for School Resource Officer, Corporal James Fuller.
MJ, who says he wants to be a police officer when he grows up, has developed a very close bond with Fuller. On MJ’s recent birthday Fuller came and ate lunch with him because that is all he wanted for his birthday.
Today, Fuller was joined by Sargent Deven Heathcock in awarding a special certificate to MJ designating him as an honorary officer for the parade tomorrow night. Officer Fuller said while working at Calera Elementary School on the school’s security detail he has had the opportunity to meet and interact with several of the children. However, MJ, is one child in particular that has has stood out.
“MJ is always happy and is friends with EVERYONE,” said Fuller. “You just can’t help but smile when you see him smile at you. During my time there, I would stop by and visit with his class during snack time. Whenever MJ would spot me in the hallway his face would light up and he would make his way to me as fast as he could.”
Fuller recounted one touching moment when he was walking down the hallway with MJ that was very special to him.
“He told me ‘You’re my best friend, and I want to be a policeman one day’. That really touched my heart,” said Fuller. “Then, for Thanksgiving, they made a turkey with things they were thankful for. The first thing on MJ’s list was ‘Officer Fuller’.”
Fuller said he began to try to think of a way that MJ could experience what it would be like to be a policeman. One day, he had the idea to make him an “Honorary Police Officer for the Day.”
“Each year our city has a Christmas Parade and I thought it would be fun for him to be able to ride in a real police car during the parade as our guest,” Fuller said. “After speaking with my administration and MJ’s mother, we decided that we would do just that. So this morning, we surprised MJ with a Calera Police Department patch (the same one that is on our uniforms), a Calera Dive Team t-shirt and a certificate declaring him an “Honorary Officer for the Day” tomorrow for our Christmas parade.”
MJ’s mother bought him a police uniform, which he proudly put on for the special presentation a the school. He also plans to proudly wear in the parade.
“MJ is such a special child and a blessing to everyone around him,” said Fuller. “I am honored to have him as a part of our department and look forward to seeing what he becomes in life. He is so smart and has a bright future in front of him.”