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Police grant teen's wish

Collin Blade, 16, of Hettinger dusts a can for fingerprints while Dickinson Police Detective Amanda McNamee looks on at the Law Enforcement Center in Dickinson Monday.

Sporting a custom ordered Dickinson Police uniform and a smile, Collin Blade, a 16-year-old Hettinger resident, dusted for fingerprints and searched for clues in a simulated crime scene at the Law Enforcement Center in Dickinson Monday.

The project was part of a wish granted to Collin.

The North Dakota Make-A-Wish Foundation, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children with life-threatening diseases, made Collin's dream of going to Disney World come true. He and his family planned to be on their way there today.

However, the Dickinson Police Department enhanced the wish by making Collin a police officer for a day.

"It's pretty cool," Collin said Monday. "I've always wanted to be a police officer."

DPD wanted to make Collin's experience special.

"According to Make-A-Wish, they get one wish that they grant for them. They came to me and asked if I would be willing to give them an escort from the hotel out to the

airport with a squad car because he really likes the thought of being a police officer," said Dickinson Police Officer Ron Van Doorne. "I said I kind of wanted to do more if I could and they said 'Sure what have you got in mind?'"

He and several other officers and city officials worked together to make another dream come true for Collin.

Collin has a blood disorder (Eosinophilia immunodeficiency) which causes him to have an abnormally large amount of food and environmental allergies, his parents, Ian and Carla Blade said. The disease causes a substantial increase in eosinophils in the blood, causing increased allergic reactions, the Blades said.

"He takes a chemo injection once a month in Fargo to help bring that down," Carla said.

If it is not kept in check, the disease could be devastating, the Blades said.

"This disease can eat away at his heart and liver if it stays too high," Ian said. "We've got to find a way to keep it down."

Kelly Braun, Make-A-Wish board member and Dickinson resident, said they always try to enhance wishes, but he was not expecting DPD to take it as far as they did.

"It was way more than we ever thought we would get," Braun said.

Collin knew he was going to Disney World, but he had no idea he would be an officer for a day until Monday afternoon.

She said family had been making up excuses to keep it a secret.

"I think he started wondering what was going on when all the people started showing up at our motel," Carla said.

Collin was first taken to Dickinson city hall to be sworn in as an honorary police officer. He rode along with officers on patrol and was shown techniques for investigating a crime scene.

"It just seemed like the right thing to do," Van Doorne said. "The people from Make-A-Wish told me it was his lifelong dream to be a police officer as well, so I thought 'Lets make him one.'"

Collin said his favorite part was watching one of the department's narcotics sniffing dogs during a police call.

"I was pretty excited," Blade said.

Several other businesses chipped in to help with the Collin's wish, Braun said. He was taken to McDonald's for supper, since it's his favorite place to eat.

Collin is excited to experience Disney World, as well. He hasn't traveled much outside of North Dakota besides for doctor appointments.

There aren't any particular Disney World attractions Collin has in mind, he just wants to see and do as much as he can.

Collins parents are impressed with the effort the Police Department put into Collin's wish.

"I think it's great," Carla said.