Police Make Christmas Bright for Local Child

Photo provided by Mary Musap Wheeling Police Officer Harry Myers, left, Jarren Dowd, center, and Officer Ryan Moore, are shown after using the siren in the police cruiser and opening gifts for the little boy from the Wheeling Police Department.

The Wheeling Police Department has made one little boy’s holiday extra special this year by visiting him on Christmas Day and cementing his dream of becoming a police officer when he grows up.

Jarren lost his father, 32-year-old Jerry Dowd Jr., earlier in the year, and Officer Harry Myers believes the officers’ visit lifted his spirits during a time that focuses on family.

“We wanted to do whatever we could to make his Christmas great and visiting him was well worth it,” Myers said.

A family member reached out to the department in hopes that they may take an interest in the little boy who lost his father in early July in what has been ruled an accidental drowning during a boating outing.

According to Myers, Jarren has wanted to be a police officer since he was able to talk.

Though Officer Ryan Moore was working this Christmas Day, he made a trip to visit 4-year-old Jarren. Moore and Myers arrived with gifts in tow and showed Jarren how to work the siren system in the police cruiser.

“Every toy in sight was a police toy and it was so cute. We gave him a ride around the block in the police cruiser and he had his own little police hat,” Myers said.

Myers was not scheduled to work on Christmas Day, but decided this was an opportunity he couldn’t miss out on. “We like to do a lot of charity work cause that’s the fun side of policing. Ryan told me about it and it was great to see such a passion in someone so young,” said Myers.

According to Myers, when the officers arrived at the home, Jarren was very shy at first and later became very comfortable with the officers. Myers believes small gestures like this are what make or break a community.

“I actually trained Ryan, and when we started together I told him that in my car we are going to talk to people and we’re going to do charity with the community you serve. If they see you out giving that extra effort, then they’re going to go the extra mile to do the right thing,” Myers said.

Trust is the most important thing when you are a police officer, according to Myers. “When you build trust and become open with the citizens you’re serving, it makes for something really good. We try to be approachable and allow them to trust in us. Once you start police work, you can’t stop and that’s part of the allure — making a difference.”