Police Officer Joins Parade for Dying Boy

Police Officer Joins Parade for Dying Boy

From left are MPO Mike O’Brien and Capt. Dan Spital.

From left are MPO Mike O’Brien and Capt. Dan Spital. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

During the Jan. 10 meeting of the Sully District Police Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). Capt. Dan Spital, the station commander, took a few minutes to honor one of his officers, MPO Mike O’Brien. And he did so in front of O’Brien’s family.

“Mike is just an all-around, phenomenal guy – a wonderful father and husband,” said Spital. “And we’re fortunate to have him here at the Sully District Station. He’s been with the Fairfax County Police Department for 25 years and has spent 11 of them with the Motor Squad.”

Spital then shared a brief story illustrating O’Brien’s care and compassion for others. He said a 9-year-old boy named Charlie, of Frederick County, had been diagnosed with leukemia. And even before his whole treatment ordeal, he and his family had become close to the law-enforcement officers there.

“But just before Christmas, his doctors sent him home and told his parents there was nothing more they could do for him,” said Spital. “So the Frederick police decided to put together a parade for him. Some 200 cruisers – a sea of flashing blue lights – would drive by Charlie's house to let him know how much he meant to them.”

And since O’Brien grew up in that neighborhood, and the parade was for a child, he wanted to be part of it. So, said Spital, “Mike shined up his cruiser, drove there from Fairfax County and participated in that parade.”

A fourth-grader, Charlie had hoped to become a police officer when he grew up. But sadly, he didn’t get the chance; he died at home, surrounded by his family, on Dec. 30.