SUNCOAST STRONG: Honorary Officer

SPD makes young girl Honorary Officer

Make-A-Wish Granted

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - We want to introduce you to a special little girl – four-year-old Bridgett Phillips.

We spent part of Saturday afternoon with her and her family. Waiting for the police to show up.

But it was all for good.

The Phillips’s live on Wood Street in Sarasota – a typically quiet thoroughfare -- which is great for Bridgett... Who has an extremely rare neurological disorder called Rett Syndrome.

Her Dad Arthur explained that, “it’s similar to Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy and Autism all in one.”

But on this day -- thanks to the folks from Make-a-Wish, things got along Wood Street got a bit busier... Granting a Phillips-Family-shopping-spree-wish. “So she got some things that are going to help her,” explained Ashley Hilton, a Make-A-Wish volunteer.

“A therapeutic swing, a special back-pack that she can be carried around in... and then some other goodies here.”

And then... the cops showed up. Two uniformed officers carrying some SPD swag.

“And we’re so honored today to come here and make Bridgett Phillips an honorary Sarasota Police Officer,” explained Captain Demetri Konstantopoulos.

Armed with an official coin, cap and printed proclamation... he delivered the oath.

“I hereby appoint Bridgett Phillips a police officer of the Sarasota police department.”

And with that -- this patrol captain put out an all call for fellow officers, who showed up en masse and in formation -- for their newest colleague. Lights flashing, but without sirens. And they were happy to do it.

“This is one way that we can share that and be part of the community and be part of the make a wish foundation,” said Captain Konstantopoulos.

Children with Rett syndrome typically have a tough time communicating, but it was clear that this little girl -- and her family -- were enjoying a big day.

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