-- Little Evie Flanagan of Augusta, Maine, loves police officers. But the 5-year-old’s favorite cop is Officer Brad Chase.
They met at a “Coffee With a Cop” event, and ever since, she’s been his No. 1 fan.
“There was a big snowstorm, and on my way to work, I drove to the restaurant where we chose to have it,” Chase told ABC News of the occasion in which citizens can meet their local police officers. “I was the only one there because no one called me to say it got canceled because of the storm. I was getting ready to leave and Evie and her family walked in. She was dressed up in her cop uniform and I felt horrible and told them, ‘Hey, if you won't mind driving, come down to the police department and I’ll give you a personalized tour.’”
The family followed him to the station where Chase let Evie and her siblings sit in the patrol car to turn on the lights and sirens, and even sent them home with police stickers. As they were leaving, he gave Evie’s mom, Lauren Flanagan, his business card, and told the family to keep in touch if they ever needed anything.
A few months later, they did.
“Evie has wanted to be a cop since the ‘Zootopia’ movie came out,” Flanagan explained. “She’s been perfectly committed to the idea. When her birthday came around, we had her theme all picked out and I emailed the Augusta Police Department to see if they would do something. He [Chase] had let us know it probably wouldn’t be him to be there on her birthday because that’s not typically a day he’d be working, but over time he started to notice how much Evie would appreciate it if he himself was there.”
When it was time for Evie’s police-themed birthday party on May 13, the little girl had no idea the surprise that was in store for her.
“When he walked up the driveway, her face lit up,” said Flanagan.
The two posed for pictures together in their matching police officer uniforms.
“That was the highlight of her little 5-year life,” Evie’s mom said.
“I think it’s cool that she’s my biggest fan,” said Chase. “Other than mine, she’s the cutest little girl I’ve ever met.”
His surprise appearance has only reinforced Evie’s love for cops, which her mom thinks is “great.”
“Right now things can be culturally a little shaky between police officers and everybody else,” said Flanagan. “It’s great for Evie to see someone who is taking the time to connect with the community. He’s obviously very kind to take that time out of his day and she loves it. Anytime Evie sees a police officer, no matter what they’re doing, she would say to them, ‘When I grow up, I’m going to make the world a better place. I’m going to be a police officer.’ In her mind, that’s what cops do.”
And for little Evie, that’s certainly what Chase has done.