FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
POINT OF CONTACT: Lt. Neal Griffin, 760-839-4444
On Saturday September 21, a six-year-old Escondido boy had the distinction of becoming the youngest honorary Police Officer in the history of Escondido PD. Young “Jonathan” was named an honorary officer by Chief Craig Carter in a ceremony that kicked off his wish for a shopping spree granted by Make-A-Wish® San Diego. The wish took place at the Westfield North County Mall, where Westfield employees gave Jonathan a VIP welcome for his wish and were proud to partner with Make-A-Wish.
The event began with Jonathan arriving at the mall with his parents in a limousine provided courtesy of Westfield. When he arrived, Jonathan was greeted by Chief Carter and a number of officers and detectives from the Escondido Police Department. Escondido Police Detective Mike Martinez had learned that Jonathan was particularly interested in SWAT, so Detective Martinez purchased a SWAT uniform sized for a six year old, complete with EPD patches. With his new uniform ready to go, Jonathan was given a special behind-the-scenes tour of the SWAT Bearcat vehicle and other special equipment. After his SWAT experience, Jonathan had an opportunity to try on a police motorcycle helmet and take a seat on one of the EPD BMW police motorcycles. He was also introduced to “Jena”, an EPD Police K-9 who, with the help of her handler Officer Ryan Hicks, gave Jonathan a demonstration of some of her patrol skills.
After all this, Jonathan met with Chief Craig Carter and was sworn in as an honorary Police Officer. After his swearing-in ceremony, Westfield employees continued to provide VIP treatment for Jonathan throughout his wish.
Jonathan’s mother, Sequoia Watts, said that her son enjoyed his special day and has been wearing his SWAT uniform since.
“It’s such a blessing to have an organization like ‘Make-A-Wish’ that can help families who are going through a difficult time. And the officers were awesome. I could tell it meant a lot to them and it gave me a greater appreciation for the Escondido Police Department.”
Chief Carter praised the men and women of his department for their community spirit. “When we heard that Jonathan had been going through a tough time, we wanted to be involved in his special day. A number of officers and detectives from throughout the department participated and I’m glad to hear it meant a lot to Jonathan. He’s a special kid.”
The mission of Make-A-Wish is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Make-A-Wish San Diego is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and has granted over 3,000 wishes to children in San Diego and Imperial Counties.