COP FOR A DAY: Boy, 10, shaken as baby gets on-the-job training - KMSP-TV

COP FOR A DAY: Boy, 10, shaken as baby gets on-the-job training

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Fox 9's Scott Wasserman gets locked up for a good cause -- officer training. Fox 9's Scott Wasserman gets locked up for a good cause -- officer training.
COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) -

Police officers make arrests, write tickets and spend hours on patrol to keep communities safe, but they also make a big difference in the lives of the children who look up them.

Long before he began working the beat in Columbia Heights, Officer Jason Beckett dreamed of becoming a police officer.

"Every time us kids played cops and robbers, I always wanted to be the cop," he recalled.

After 13 years on the job, he says it's still a dream come true -- and when he heard the story of a 10-year-old boy who was shaken as a baby and survived to dream of a similar future, he wanted to make that dream a reality.

"I love helping people," Beckett explained. "I love putting smiles on peoples' faces."

He certainly put a smile on Gage Robinson's face when he told the boy he would be riding along for the day.

In September, Fox 9 News met the boy who shared his story of how he wanted to raise money for those who had helped him in his therapy throughout the years. Although he was focused on saying thanks to those from his past, his mother also gave a glimpse of his dreams for the future.

"He has spent many Halloweens dressed up as an officer," Penny Robinson said. "Plays cops daily -- it's almost an obsession of his."

After watching the story, Beckett felt decided to see if he could pull the boy's dream into the real world.

"Seeing the story and how hard he is working at that, it really touched home because I did the exact same thing," Beckett explained.

Penny Robinson was taken surprised to see her son's tale had inspired Beckett to give her son a rare opportunity, but she happily arranged to bring her boy to the Columbia Heights Police Department.

"He's truly an inspiration," Penny Robinson said of Officer Beckett. "There's not many people who would take the time to do this with the average child. Then, you take a child like Gage who has some obvious obstacles -- and he had the patience of a saint to deal with him all day long."

Monday's ride-along involved a lot more than driving. Beckett made sure to incorporate elements of real police training.

"Let's go out on the streets and run some plates and see if they have warrants," he suggested.

The two made real traffic stops together, and while Beckett taught Gage Robinson about the rules of the road, it became clear that his young partner already seemed to have it down.

"That guy right there just ran a red light," he pointed out.

The 10-year-old quickly adopted the role of Officer Robinson, writing his first ticket during the two hours he spent on the road.

Yet, when it comes to learning how to be a cop, not all of that involves being in the field. Officers-to-be must also learn how to make an arrest -- and Officer Robinson chose to lock up Fox 9's Scott Wasserman.

"Just training," he assured. "No, you are not in trouble."

It's well known that police work can be dangerous, which makes decision-making vital. Officer Robinson learned a lot about that through a simulator that trained him on how to use a weapon in real-life scenarios.

The 10-year-old shadow learned quickly that using your voice is the first line of defense. In fact, being vocal is a must. Making a quick decision could be the difference between life and death, and it seems Officer Robinson's first day as an officer in training helped him decide his dream was everything he'd hoped.

As for Beckett, he said his day with Officer Robinson was the best in his career so far. To be sure, the day on the streets, in the department and in simulation added up to one neither will forget.

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