16-year-old Aidan Riley has cerebral palsy, and a dad named Merritt who's a New York Police Department officer. Aidan looks up to his police officer father, so according to WLNY-TV, the NYPD partnered with a company called Magic Wheelchair to give him a surprise he would never forget: a costume for his wheelchair that essentially turned his chair into an NYPD cruiser.
Officers from NYPD's fleet services division volunteered their time for months working with Magic Wheelchair to make sure that the costume came out just right. It has flashing lights, a siren, Aidan's name on the side, and his father's badge number.
Officers presented the special chair to Aidan last Wednesday afternoon in a special ceremony at 1 Police Plaza. A visibly moved Merritt Riley thanked all the officers present, saying, "You saw the smile on his face. I can't put it into words, what it means... He loves the simple things in life, things you can't really put a price tag on. And obviously you can't put a price tag on something like this. It's just perfect. It's perfect for what he enjoys and what he likes."
Merritt Riley and his partner Daniel Sprague are the co-founders of the nonprofit NYPD With Arms Wide Open foundation, accordingly to WLNY. The foundation seeks to help NYPD officers who have special needs children to get the expensive medical equipment they need.
NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill praised the work of the officers who put together the special wheelchair, saying, "This was a huge opportunity to everyone involved to do something that's never been done before. To that end, my hat's off to the members of the NYPD's fleet services division."