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Five-year-old boy with brain cancer fulfills wish of becoming a police officer

His first day on the force, Pittsfield Police Department's youngest officer, Shavez Forte, 5, took down two bad guys.
/ Source: TODAY

His first day on the force, Shavez Forte nabbed a pair of bad guys.

Sure, it was a staged fight he broke up and, no, Shavez wasn't technically on the payroll, but it was just the sort of thing the 5-year-old had been dreaming of doing for a long time.

In October, Shavez was diagnosed with brain cancer — a Stage 4 brain tumor.

His mom, Joallen Forte of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, wanted to do something special to lift his spirits, so she spoke to her friend from church, Trisha Carlo, a police officer, about making the little boy's dream come true.

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On Monday Nov. 16, Pittsfield Police Department Officer Darren Derby picked Shavez up from kindergarten at Crosby Elementary School around lunch time and brought him to the station, where Shavez received his own badge, uniform and handcuffs.

Courtesy of Darren Derby

The officers from the station came together for a swearing-in ceremony. Once Shavez was official, he was ready for his first task.

Derby knew Shavez really wanted the chance to catch a bad guy, so Derby enlisted two fellow detectives to act out a scene.

Courtesy of Darren Derby

"Shavez was a little afraid when we first entered the garage where they were pretend fighting, but then I told them to stop and get on the ground with their arms behind their backs, which is when he helped me put handcuffs on them," Derby told

Courtesy of Darren Derby

After lunch, Derby and a couple other officers showed him around the jail cell and detective bureau. He even got to sit in Chief Michael Wynn's chair.

Courtesy of Darren Derby

Derby taught Shavez police defensive techniques, letting him take a few whacks at a punching bag with a foam training baton.

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"He was a tough little guy, but it was clear he was still a little scared from the fight we broke up. Every time we passed the garage he would say he didn't want to go in there because the bad guy was in there," Derby said.

Courtesy of Darren Derby

Shavez then was taken to the Pittsfield Fire Department, where he got to meet some firefighters and watch them slide down the pole. He toured firefighters' living quarters and rode in a truck.

"He was feeling a little weak that day," said Derby, "but he's fighting this battle with courage and bravery, which are traits that will make him a great officer one day."

"He touched and inspired a lot of the officers in ways we didn't think were possible."