A June ride in a "real police car" proved so enjoyable for a Caldwell Scout and his Blazer leader that a follow-up patrol ride has already been planned.
Sgt. Roger Sharp of the Canyon County Sheriff's office was Kris' Scout leader and friend. Kris, then 11, was interested in police work and fascinated by anything that "moved fast." Kris also was dying.The son of John and Lynda Aird of the Caldwell 1st Ward, Kris has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia since 1981. Having received his lifetime dose of radiation in 1985, survived four remissions and undergone extensive maintenance treatments, Kris was diagnosed in May as terminal.
One of his dreams was to ride in a real police car. Ordinarily, youngsters are prohibited from going on patrol, but special permission was granted when arrangements were made to go out on Sharp's night off.
Sharp wanted to do something to "add to Kris' collection of memories," he explained. "I always wanted to be a policeman, and I have been lucky enough to fulfill my childhood dreams. I just wanted to help him fulfill his."
Local TV and newspapers covered Kris' swearing in as an honorary deputy. Sheriff Bill Andersen also presented Kris with his own hat, uniform shirt and badge.
"It was great," Kris remembered. "When cars were coming toward us, you had to judge how fast they were going. We were riding along and Brother Sharp had guessed a couple of them, but he was wrong. The first one I guessed I got right. Brother Sharp didn't nail one right on like that the whole night."
In addition to guessing the speed of cars, Kris and Sharp assisted in an accident investigation, chased a speeder and searched for a drunken driver. Kris got to activate the light and siren and talk to the sheriff on the car radio.
"It was a wonderful, unselfish offer," Sister Aird said. "It was an exciting night for Kris. In fact, that whole week he was soaring."
Kris, now 12, has just entered a fifth remission. "The doctors are amazed," his mother said. "Five remissions are practically unheard of." Kris is looking forward to another night on patrol with Sharp in November. He also keeps busy as the student manager of the seventh grade football team and is interested in woodwork, leatherwork and art. In addition, Kris, who has never ridden on a plane, hopes to one day fulfill that dream. "I got to sit in a helicopter once, but it didn't go anywhere," he explained.
Kris' parents and seven brothers and sisters are excited about his remission, which his mother attributes to fasting and prayer. "Right now he is able to go to school and participate in just about anything he wants to do," she said. "But, just like anyone else in this situation, we just have to live one day at a time."