Columbia Heights 'officer for a day' finds long-term friend - KMSP-TV

Columbia Heights 'officer for a day' finds long-term friend

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There's something special about helping those in need. Yet, once the good deed is done, many people will move on -- but that's not the case for a Columbia Heights police officer who helped a boy realize a dream.

Gage Robinson was shaken as a baby, but he's grown to a 10-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a police officer. The anniversary of his injury was once a day of sadness for his family, but in recent years, they've made it a celebration.

MORE: Minnesota 10-year-old shaken as baby realizes goals, works to give back

Last November, Robinson had something else to celebrate -- a dream come true. Columbia Heights Police Officer Jason Beckett heard Robinson's story and invited him to get some on-the-job training for his future.

MORE: Boy shaken as baby becomes an officer for a day

In the past 6 months since, that one-day visit blossomed into a friendship.

"I thought it would be one day and done," Penny Robinson admitted. "I was shocked when the relationship continued and we get the weekly phone call or text message checking in to see how Gage is doing."

Robinson even says Beckett has become like a big brother.

"He so looks up to Officer Beckett," Penny Robinson said. "He is a huge role model in his life."

Since the two have met, Beckett has made a habit of calling or texting at least once a week, often after his shift.

"I just wanted to stay in contact with Gage," he explained. "His aspirations to become a police officer [are] the same aspirations I had."

Gage Robinson is currently in a wheel chair as he continues to battle the complications of being shaken as a baby because he recently had to undergo surgery to realign his legs, and he looks forward to the calls from his one-time partner in solving crime.

"Gage always asks me what happened at work, and I would tell him and he's excited," Beckett said. "Later, I ask, 'How is school?' and I hear Gage say, 'Here mom, I'm done talking.'"

Beckett even made a surprise visit at the hospital, bringing along some Nerf guns to take Gage's mind off the pain.

"We shot up the hospital room -- his mom, cousins, nurses," Beckett recalled with a laugh. "We were having a lot of fun with it just to get him to smile and have some fun."

After the story of how Beckett brought Robinson along in his squad aired, he was given the Award of Merit, which goes to an officer who goes above and beyond demonstrating exceptional police work -- but on Wednesday, Beckett told Fox 9 News he didn't earn it. In fact, he awarded the medal to Gage for his efforts on the street during that November day.

"It brings a smile to my face, and I know I bring a smile to his face and to his family as well," Beckett said. "To stay in contact -- I couldn't ask for anything more than just that."

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