“What do you want to be when you grow up?”- the universal question that is asked to all children at one point or another. With big aspirations, children normally shout answers of becoming astronauts, doctors, lawyers, and even the President. This was no different for Aurby Dickerson, a twenty-two-year-old man with autism, who had always dreamed of becoming either an EMT, firefighter, or police officer.

Dickerson’s dream was finally made a reality yesterday, as he was sworn in to the Albany Police Department as an honorary auxiliary police officer for his birthday. Chief Eric Hawkins, who swore Dickerson in, tweeted after the ceremony, “His only wish was to become part of APD; We were pleased to make that happen and welcome him to our family.”

Aubry Dickerson being sworn in by Chief Eric Hawkins (via Chief Hawkin’s Twitter)

Aubrey Dickerson, his mother, told TimesUnion just how proud she was of her son, whom she had adopted and cared for since he was an infant. She said she would always push her son to dream big and chase his dreams, whether it be graduating high school or becoming a police officer. With her support, Dickerson has accomplished both, as he graduated from Colonie High School last year and is now an honorary member of the Albany Police Department.

Donned in his blue suit, NYPD hat, and the new handcuffs he received for his birthday, Dickerson continued his celebration at the Albany Police Department. After the ceremony, he was able to visit the Albany Police Mounted Unit at the horse stables and tour the Albany County Jail with sheriffs.

Dickerson’s mother tries to make her son’s birthday special each year and has taken him to fire stations, at which he has been able to try on gear and practice using their equipment. With the help of family and the Albany Police Department, this year’s birthday has taken the cake. “He is so excited — he is just living on a cloud right now,” said his mother. “I don’t know if we will top this next year.”

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