Police officers don’t always have to catch bad guys to save the day.
When Katy Williams rang the Longview Police Department recently, there was no crime, and no emergency, but she did need help. Her son Mason was celebrating his fourth birthday, and she wanted to make it extra special. She told ABC News that their family had been going through a rough patch. Her newborn daughter, Ellie, was hospitalized in March, and she and her husband Aaron had been spending a lot of time visiting her in the hospital in Dallas, a two hour drive from Mason and their home in Longview, Texas.
Mason, who wants to be a police officer when he grows up, was having a police-themed party. Williams asked if a few police officers could stop by.
WATCH: Texas Police Officers On Patrol Stop To Mow Disabled Veteran's Lawn
“When Katy called and asked if we could bring a car out, I kind of knew that maybe [Mason] wasn’t getting a lot of attention right now and they might not have had a lot of time to plan a party,” Sgt. Kerry Higginbotham, the officer who answered Williams’ call told ABC. As a family friend, he already knew of Ellie’s medical struggles. “It made me feel good that she trusted our department enough to call us.”
Higginbotham shared the request with his colleague, Sgt. Chad LeMaire, who was on duty Saturday. A few days later, LeMaire and half a dozen of his fellow officers arrived at the Williams’ home for the party. The best part? They brought a SWAT truck, police cruisers, and a remote-control police car they taught Mason how to drive.
“I look out the window and saw a SWAT car and two police cars behind it so I yelled out to Mason,” Williams recalled to ABC News. “He came to the door and said, ‘Oh my gosh,’ and started running outside, without even his shoes on.”
They even let Mason get in the SWAT car and sit in the front seat. “He asked them, ‘Do you have presents for me?’ which embarrassed me half to death but they said, ‘Yes we do,’” Williams added.
The police officers presented Mason with a police badge and a basket full of superhero-themed presents. They also surprised his parents with gift cards to a restaurant and movie theater for a much-needed night out.
“We’re all family people here at the department and we know what those strains feel like and just wanted to do something special for them so they didn’t get lost in the mix,” LeMaire told ABC News.
“They went above and beyond,” Williams said. “I don’t know how well a 4-year-old’s memory is but I don’t know how Mason can ever forget this birthday.”