Officers create one of a kind birthday

October 27, 2020

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Powell Police Sgt. Matt McCaslin delivers a gift to Brooklyn Radecki for her fourth birthday. The little girl has respiratory complications and was unable to have a birthday party. The police department pitched in to help make the day special for her anyway.
TRIBUNE PHOTO BY CARLA WENSKY

Brooklyn Radecki is a typical little girl. She loves people and dance and unicorns.

But because she was born with immune and respiratory complications, her parents have always had to be careful about exposing her to illnesses.

Every fall and winter Brooklyn would be susceptible to standard colds and flu, but they posed a big risk to the lttle girl. So big that at 2, her mother, Lacey, decided Brooklyn could no longer attend her dance classes. When COVID-19 appeared on the scene, the family had to work even harder to keep Brooklyn safe.

“She can’t be around anyone because of her complications,” Lacey said.

As Brooklyn’s fourth birthday approached, she asked for a birthday party. Her parents explained that could not be, and the little girl seemed to take it in stride.

However, the day after that discussion, Brooklyn made a card all in blue. She told her mother it was an invitation for the police department to come to her birthday. Dutifully, Lacey took the invitation and pretended to mail it, but the gesture behind the invitation was heartbreaking.

So Lacey called the Powell Police Department and spoke to Sgt. Matt McCaslin and asked if he could arrange to send a patrol car by the house with lights flashing for Brooklyn on her birthday. He agreed on the phone to send a single car.

Instead of just one car, however, he sent every available on duty patrol car, lights flashing. Some off-duty officers attended, too.

“All those lights, we were shocked!” Lacey Radecki said. “She was shocked. It was so beautiful. She said, ‘Those are police officers.’ “

But the lights and cars were only the tip of the birthday iceberg. The officers brought Brooklyn a stuffed toy, a uniform patch and a Powell Police challenge coin. There was also a card, signed by everyone in the department, even the K9 officer.

“But when they got out of their cars and started singing ‘Happy Birthday’ my husband and I just lost it,” Lacey said. Her voice cracked as she described the department’s kindness.

The family moved here two and a half years ago and the closeness of the town is what they love about it.

“I love our little town,” Lacey said. “What they (the officers) did for her was really, really sweet and special. That’s what people need to see these days.”

Lacey said Brooklyn is very into law enforcement and wants to be an officer herself one day. “She looks out for us and the animals. She’s very protective and tells me not to talk to strangers,” Lacey laughed. After the officers left the front yard, where they had socially distanced the song and gift presentations, Brooklyn apologized to her parents for being so shy.

The whole family hopes that one day, not too far in the future, COVID will be a bad memory and Brooklyn can return to school and dance class. And maybe, just maybe, to a officer’s job at Powell Police Department.

By Connie Burcham
Powell Tribune