(Photo: Prince William County Police Department)
WOODBRIDGE, Va. - For young Chesleigh Flynn, it was a dream come true at her birthday party.
The toddler turned three years old and her one birthday wish this year? To have real-life police officers at her party.
“They let me come in the car,” said young Chesleigh.
Her mother shared how she pulled the surprise off without a hitch.
“She loves policemen and firefighters and so she wanted to have a policeman and firefighter birthday,” said Hilary Flynn. “So I reached out to the local police officers and told them that we're having this party, and I know they have real jobs that actually require their work, but if they happen to have a quiet day, we would love for them to stop by.”
And to everyone’s surprise, they did.
“When they showed up, she couldn't believe it,” said Chesleigh’s mother. “She's like, ‘They're coming to my party.’”
Prince William County Police Sergeant Eric Udell and Officer Brandon Craft are the duo behind the dynamic cameo that even made an appearance on Facebook.
“I had a friend that posted it on and showed me the post,” said Officer Craft. “It's surprising, but it's something that we're fortunate enough to do.”
So far, the Facebook post about police granting Chesleigh’s birthday wish has more than 2,000 likes, hundreds of shares and an overwhelming positive response.
“When you have that level of support at such a young age, it really helps carry you through and builds that trust for further down the road,” said Officer Craft.
“It is a little tough wearing the badge because of what you hear on the street,” said Sgt. Udell. “However, I work for Prince William County and I am a law enforcement officer, I have a really good trust with the community and the community trusts us and we want to keep that on a day-to-day basis.”
Chesleigh’s mother agrees.
“A few bad people make a bad name for so many and they're doing such great work for everyone and 99.9 percent of them are just wonderful, great people who are helping us and making our communities stronger and that's who we should be focused on,” said Flynn.
Police say they try their best to stay connected and while they don’t make guarantees, they welcome requests.
Chesleigh said when she grows up, she wants to be an astronaut, firefighter, farmer and police officer.