Franklin Police Department Joins Team Aaron!
By: Sioux Johnson
On the morning of June 7, 2016, The City of Franklin Police Department watched as a 7 week long surprise project came to a close, ending with cake, smiles, and a day that a very special child will never forget. It started on April 27th of this year when Sgt. Scott Halverson with Franklin Police received a request from Lt. Pete Paschul with Carlsbad Police Department in California. Lt. Paschul had a simple request that would soon inspire nationwide participation in a surprise for a little boy by the name of Aaron. Aaron, a 6 year old Leukemia survivor who had just undergone a bone marrow transplant at Duke University, is a collector of Police Badges and Coins. Lt. Paschul’s request was for Sgt. Halverson to donate an official City of Franklin Police badge and challenge coin, and personally deliver it to this incredibly brave little boy. Sgt. Halverson not only agreed to the request, but informed Lt. Paschul that he would try to get more law enforcement agencies in the area to donate a badge and coin as well, urging Lt. Paschul to do the same on his end of the country.
Within a two month period, Sgt. Halverson, Chief Phillip Hardison with the City of Franklin Police Department and Lt. Paschul were able to collect over 50 badges and coins from various police departments in California, West Virginia, and Virginia, as well as memorabilia from a few private businesses in the area eager to help. Helping to spread the word on this project was Durham North Carolinas ABC 11 and Mr. Larry Green with an organization called “The Real Bearded Santa’s.” Green sent Aaron’s inspirational story out for everyone in the Real Bearded Santa’s network to share.
Then came the big day!!! On Tuesday, June 7th, Chief Hardison and Sgt. Halverson drove down to the Ronald McDonald house in Durham NC, and met with Lt. Thompson of the Duke University Police Department, to present Aaron with their addition to his badge collection. Shy at first, Aaron’s eyes quickly brightened once in his specially made Franklin Police Polo Shirt, and behind the wheel of one of Duke University Police cop cars. Over cake, Halverson and Chief Hardison sat with Aaron and his mother to listen to the series of events Aaron has met and conquered during his fight with Leukemia. As their time together ended, the Franklin Police