GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A 7-year-old student in Marshall County just celebrated a birthday to remember, thanks to his friend on the force.
Cadence Helmick is a special needs kindergarten student at Brindlee Mountain Primary. He was diagnosed with severe speech delay and autism.
When Helmick first met Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy and School Resource Officer Brad Ford, he was shy and afraid. Deputy Ford dedicated part of his days to spending extra time with Cadence.
Now, the two are best buds.
“With these kids, working in the school system, it’s rewarding because you get to see an immediate response. I think you make a big impact on their life because a lot of kids when they get older, they grew up scared of police officers and law enforcement and may not open up to them, or ask for help when they really need it." said Ford.
Helmick got the opportunity to ride shotgun in the patrol car for his 7th birthday. He says his favorite part was playing with the buttons inside the car.
His grandmother also surprised him with a birthday cake at home and said she is thankful for the support from the school.
“It was kind of a shock to me; I wasn’t aware until his teacher called, and it was very special. Helmick has been in love with trucks and cars since he was small. That school down there is really wonderful, the teachers, and principal are really helpful, and he has definitely taking a liking to this particular deputy," said Dony Fisk.
Deputy Ford said his goal is to impact as many kids as possible and inspire others to become mentors.