5-Year-Old's Dream of Becoming a Police Officer Comes True
Morgan Steward realized his dream of becoming a police officer this week, a few years earlier than he ever expected. The 5-year-old from Covington, Georgia was sworn in as an honorary police officer for the Covington Police Department in a special ceremony created just for him. The event came about in part because of a picture posted on Facebook by Morgan’s aunt, Alicia Steward. The image showed Morgan with a written note that read, "My name is Morgan Steward. I am SMA Type 2. My wish is to be a Police Officer."
“Morgan is very curious about what police officers do, and he likes sirens,” Morgan’s dad, Barron Steward tells Yahoo Shine, adding that Morgan was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type II, a genetic disorder that leads to progressive muscle weakness, when he was just 15 months old and he is unable to walk, or even cough, on his own. Thankfully, his dad notes, Morgan can still talk, which some kids with his condition aren't able to do.
Morgan first met members of the Covington Police Department in October when the force donated $10,000 to The Miracle League of Newton County, Georgia, to help build a new playground for children with disabilities. Morgan’s mom, Tangi Forman-Steward, provided input for the the design of the new play space and was invited, along with Morgan, to attend the check presentation.
“Morgan told us that day that he wanted to be a police officer,” says Stacey Cotton, chief of police for the Covington Police Department, adding that he and other officers spent nearly two hours that day talking with Morgan and even gave him a ride in their squad car. A few weeks later, a member of the force spotted that Facebook post in which Morgan shared his wish of becoming a policeman. At the time, members of the department were planning the annual Covington Christmas Parade and they asked Morgan to lead the parade as an honorary police officer. Chief Cotton then came up with the idea to make it official, and within 24 hours he got permission from the Covington City Council to have a swearing-in ceremony for Morgan.
“The oath of office for a police officer is extremely important,” says Cotton, who has spent 26 years on the force and 16 years as chief of police. And Morgan has even made history. “This is the first time we’ve done a swearing-in ceremony for an honorary officer.” At the special ceremony, Morgan was presented with his very own navy blue shirt, complete with stitched-on police patches, a hat and an official police badge. And just like other officers, he was also asked to raise his right hand and take an oath of service. That's where things got a little creative.“I will remember to obey my mom and I keep my grades up,” Morgan swore. The Mayor of Covington then stepped in to give him the key to the city.
“Morgan was so excited,” says Barron Steward. “We were thrilled to see him in uniform.” This Saturday, Morgan will perform his first official police act—and get to sport his new uniform, too — when he leads the Covington Christmas Parade. Says Barron Steward, “Morgan is really looking forward to it.”