Honolulu gained a new ‘Junior Police Chief’ on Tuesday, April 28, when Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Honolulu Police Dept. Chief Louis Kealoha granted 5-year-old Daidap’s wish to be a police officer with his own police car.
Daidap, from Honolulu’s Mayor Wright Housing Community, has already undergone nine open heart surgeries in his young life due to a severe congenital heart defect. This condition qualified him for a wish, and it didn’t take long for his wish-granting volunteers to discover his admiration for the police. He asked to have his own police car power wheels, but little did he know that he would actually get to meet and train with local officers
“When HPD and Mayor Caldwell heard of Daidap’s wish to have a police car, their generosity for helping our community seamlessly aligned with our mission and sparked several months of secret ‘wishion’ planning to give Daidap an unforgettable and uplifting experience,” said Make-A-Wish Hawaii President and CEO Siana Austin Hunt. “From a custom-made police uniform to one-on-one training and mentoring with his local idols, Daidap got the full experience of what it’s like to be a police officer.”
The day began with a surprise police escort from his house to the Downtown Honolulu Police Station, where officers were lined up to welcome him. There, Mayor Caldwell and Chief Kealoha held a special pinning ceremony and presented him with his own badge.
“We admire Daidap’s courage and resilience, and we’re proud to welcome him to the HPD ohana,” said Police Chief Louis Kealoha. “He’s now one of Honolulu’s Finest.”
Before fully taking on his proud new role, Daidap spent the rest of the morning learning from local officers – how to fingerprint and handcuff the bad guys! When it came time for lunch, he spent two hours at Dave and Buster’s Honolulu gaming and eating with local officers, who helped answer questions Daidap had about the police force.
To close the day, Daidap and his family were escorted back to his neighborhood in Mayor Wright Community Housing where a surprise block party unveiled to introduce and celebrate him as the town’s new Junior Police Chief!
“I’d like to thank Chief Kealoha and the Honolulu Police Department for helping make Daidap’s wish to become a police officer come true,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “This little boy has been through so much in his short life and ‘Officer Daidap’ is now smiling bright thanks to Make-A-Wish Hawaii.”
Many local vendors helped provide food and fun for the whole community during this celebration includingLanakila Kitchens, Kona Ice and ColorWhims – Hawaii Party Entertainers. Daidap and his neighbors got to check out k9 Police Unit Cars and Solo Bikes, as well as try out an obstacle course with bikes provided byHawaii Bicycling League. Daidap also received his own police car power wheels and got to test out his new ride during the block party. This power wheels featured a custom design with help from Car Wraps Hawaii.
Daidap’s wish is reminiscent of the first wish that inspired the founding of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 1982, on April 29, Chris Greicius also wished to be a police officer. His mother rallied support from the local police department and community to enrich the last weeks of his life with hope, strength and joy. Tomorrow, our chapter joins Make-A-Wish affiliates across the world in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Chris Greicius’s wish.