Quincy boy declared Chief for a Day
It’s been a busy week for police Chief Brock Turner.
Turner has been attending dignitary functions, inspecting patrol cars and joining in at a recent Quincy City Council meeting.
That’s a lot of work for the 9-year-old, who was declared Chief for a Day at Tuesday’s council meeting.
What was the best part for the miniature chief with blonde hair and freckles?
“When I rode in the police car,” said Brock, who will be a fourth-grader this fall at Monument Elementary School.
Brock was paired with the Quincy Police Department through the Chief for a Day program. Now in its 14th year, the Thomas A. Boruff Foundation Chief for a Day program pairs special needs children from throughout the county with local law enforcement and fire-fighting agencies.
The goal of the program is to not only honor the children participating but also empower them as chief of a local law enforcement or fire agency.
This year, 10 children participated in the Police Chief for a Day program, which kicked off last week with a ceremony outside the Grant County Courthouse in Ephrata. The mini chiefs, dressed in individually tailored uniforms, also gathered to ride in the Sage ‘n’ Sun grand parade.
It was his first time in a parade, Brock said. But that didn’t stop him from getting into the spirit of the event.
Brock enjoyed “throwing candy at the people,” he said.
In Quincy, Brock took a tour of the local police department and met the officers and Chief Bob Heimbach. At Tuesday’s city council meeting, he joined Heimbach at the staff table (with his own nameplate) and even helped swear in a new officer. Brock also received a miniature police car from the officers.
The son of Tina and Jarom Turner of Quincy, Brock lost his vision around the age of 6 years old. He and his three siblings have Stargardt’s Disease, an inherited form of juvenile macular degeneration that causes progressive vision loss usually to the point of legal blindness.
The Chief for a Day program is not new to the Turner family. Brock’s older brother, Davis, was Quincy’s Chief for a Day in 2012.
Davis still has his uniform and even used it as a Halloween costume, Tina said. He had the nicest costume in the neighborhood that year, she said.
Tina said she enjoys the program because it gives the young participants an opportunity to experience a unique honor and receive some special attention. Often times, these kids are in the background, she said. But not for Chief for a Day.
“They are just made to feel very special,” she said.
“This sure has meant a lot to Brock and our family,” Jarom said.
The experience also has been a nice way to get to know the local officers and the police chief, Tina added.
“This will be something that Brock will remember,” she said.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, email@example.com