Dakota Matthews is 8 years old, and she is on a mission to thank every police department in the state of Massachusetts.
What’s her story?
When Dakota was 4 years old, police officers helped her through a seizure. Since then, she and her mother have been visiting police departments all over the state, just to show appreciation.
“Four years ago, she fell,” said her mother, Cherie Boisvert. “It was an accident, but she fell and she had a seizure and what she remembers is being surrounded by police officers when she woke up. They were the first ones there.”
From that point on, police officers became her favorite people in the world.
“I love them and I started taking pictures with them,” she said.
Dakota wants to be a police officer when she grows up.
What does she do on her visits?
When Dakota shows up to a police department, she usually takes a tour, greets and thanks the officers for their service, and comes away with a gifts like hats, pins and patches that she collects.
Her visits also brighten the day for the officers.
“You keep us happy,” an officer at Rehoboth Police Department told her on one visit. “We’re all smiling now.”
How many departments are left?
Dakota’s visit on Tuesday to Quincy Police Department marked her 57th department out of 351. Her goal is to visit all of them before she turns 13.
Her mother documents her visits on Facebook at a page titled, “She Loves Police.”