TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) — For his 16th birthday, Brendan O’Brien got the keys to a golf cart.
And while hitting Tiverton’s back roads fed his need for wheels, the 10th grader had bigger ideas.
“Brendan has been obsessed with the police pretty much his whole life,” his mom Stephanie Vivieros said.
Vivieros has detailed Brendan’s life and struggles in a blog, including Cerebral Palsy, a dozen surgeries and countless barriers.
But those struggles never dulled his hopes of becoming a police officer, sparked by the show “Cops.”
“I think it just started by watching them and seeing what they do,” Vivieros said. “I think if he could walk, he would definitely be a police officer.”
O’Brien fit right in with his high school internship program, which partners with the Tiverton Police Department.
His mom had doubts when her teen said he was going to intern at the police department.
“I didn’t know whether to believe him or not,” she said with a smile. “It’s so great for him to experience this.”
“It’s fun,” he said. “I like it there.”
A recent day on patrol began with an accidental, eye-opening siren.
“I put my hand over [the button accidentally] and I pushed it,” O’Brien said with a smile.
He also responded with his mentor to more serious events, including a collision involving a deer and several human disputes.
But this afternoon brought only routine calls, ending with a surprise for his favorite citizen when he brought a coffee to his mom at her consignment shop.
His mom put the internship in perspective in her blog.
“Having Cerebral Palsy keeps him home most of the time,” she wrote in her blog after he got the internship. “So, for him, to have an opportunity like this… It makes me happy. Happy tears, of course.”