A 10-year-old Texas boy can now consider himself a TSA canine officer.
TSA hosted a special swearing-in ceremony for Devarjaye “DJ” Daniel at the National Canine Training Center (CTC) at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
DJ is battling terminal brain and spine cancer with a dream of being a police officer. His mission during his fight was to join 100 law enforcement agencies. Amazingly, he has surpassed that goal more than six times with the latest TSA ceremony marking the 668th agency to welcome DJ as an honorary officer. He is on his way to breaking the mark recognized by the Guinness World Records.
TSA officials learned about DJ’s goal and immediately set a plan to help make that dream a reality. TSA CTC Director Zebulon “Zeb” Polasek welcomed DJ’s family, law enforcement, representatives from the nonprofit Ferrari Kid, Alzafar Shriners and members of the media to the ceremonial swearing-in ceremony.
Ferrari Kid representatives drove DJ onto the base with style … in a Ferrari car, and during the ceremony, DJ’s father, Theodis Daniel and family members were lauded for their unwavering support of DJ and their work to make his dream a reality.
After the applause ended, DJ told a few jokes, and Polasek surprised the boy with the announcement that TSA renamed a canine in honor of the brave 10-year-old. DJ got the opportunity to meet the dog, spend time with him and his partner and learned they will be working with the Houston Police Department once their training is complete.
“This is the best day of my life,” said DJ. “Of all the events I’ve attended, this is the best one ever.”
DJ shared some strong handshakes and hugs after the ceremony and then interacted with many of the dogs at the training center, learned some commands, wore his canine officer shirt and posed for pictures. He took the time to shake everyone’s hand and thank them.
His only disappointment was he couldn’t take a dog home with him.
By Patricia Mancha, TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs