Student patrols halls as trooper for a day

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - There was a new trooper patrolling in Paragould on Friday. He didn't hit the streets but instead enforced rules in the hallways at Greene County Tech Elementary.

Joseph Thatch is a 9-year-old boy with special needs. He has always wanted to be a police officer.

So, Corporal Todd Harris with the Arkansas State Police helped him realize that dream by attaching a blue light to Joseph's wheelchair and letting him hit the hallways.

He was also outfitted with a uniform and radio.

"Our main purpose here is to keep this school safe for everybody isn't it," Cpl. Harris asked Joseph. "Everybody needs to be safe, right? And as long as Trooper Joseph is on the scene, we got it."

The crime-fighting team ran through the school, stopping teachers who were running through the halls, littering, or bringing gum into the library.

GCT Elementary Principal Vonnie Greer even ended up with a ticket.

"He just has that personality that you just love," Greer said. "His smile, it's just contagious whenever you talk to him. He never meets a stranger. He's just so outgoing."

"Joseph has got one of those infectious smiles and attitudes," Cpl. Harris said. "It doesn't matter how bad your day has been when you meet Joseph and say hi to Joseph your day gets better. It's that simple. Joseph is my buddy and he keeps me smiling and gives me hope."

Hopefully, the big grin fixed on Joseph's face while he fulfilled his police duties made all of those tickets sting just a little bit less.

"Officer Todd made that dream come true for him today and that's awesome," Greer said.

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