New Bedford Boy With Spina Bifida Gets a Special Police and Fire Tour
One New Bedford boy’s dream of becoming a police officer was kicked into high gear with a very special visit Thursday to the South End Public Safety Center.
Joseph Aguilera is a five-year-old boy living with spina bifida. As we told you when he was featured as WBSM’s 2022 Mini Miracle, he doesn’t let that hold him back at all. He still plays basketball, runs track, and lives a very active lifestyle pretty much like any other child his age.
Joseph already has his career path in mind as well: he wants to be an officer with the New Bedford Police Department.
Upon hearing Joseph’s desire to join the police force, Lieutenant Scott Carola helped put together a very special day for Joseph and his father, Luis, to visit the South End Public Safety Center and get an up-close look at how both the police and fire departments help keep the citizens safe.
As part of his visit, Joseph got to meet New Bedford Police Chief Paul Oliveira, Deputy Chief Adelino Sousa, Captain Nathaniel Rodriguez, Lieutenant Carola, New Bedford Deputy Fire Chief Brian Medeiros, Animal Control Director Manny Maciel, and numerous members of the police, fire and animal control staff.
He also made a few new animal friends as well, as Maciel and his officers introduced Joseph to Slinky the ferret, Joey the parrot, two puppies, a snake and a tarantula.
Chief Oliveira presented Joseph with a New Bedford Police Department patch and commemorative coin. The fire department gifted him his own children’s turnout gear.
Joseph also got to have some very special experiences, such as taking a ride in Engine 6, having his photo taken from atop Quint 4 – and perhaps his favorite of all the activities, getting a chance to use the fire hose to both knock a soccer ball off a cone from 20 yards away, and dousing a firefighter with it as well.
Joseph’s face lit up at every turn and there was plenty of joy on the faces of the police and fire personnel as well. They really went the extra mile to make Joseph’s day one he won’t ever forget.
And someday, when he’s a police officer in the city, he can return the favor for another special little boy that wants to follow the same path.
Check out more photos from Joseph's big day below: