The Cape Coral Police Department made one boy’s dream come true Tuesday.
During a special ceremony at police headquarters, 8-year-old Zachary Boucher was sworn in as an official Cape police officer. The Fort Myers resident has always wanted to become a K-9 officer.
“Cause I love dogs,” Zachary said, adding that he also wants to catch bad guys.
Originally from Georgia, the boy was diagnosed at age 5 with a primary immune disorder known as hypogammaglobulinemia. As a result, he commonly suffers from sinus infections and pneumonia.
“He gets sick very easily,” Zachary’s mother, Marie Boucher, said.
She said her son has wanted to be a K-9 officer since he was old enough to talk.
“This is his dream job,” Boucher said.
On Tuesday, Zachary was sworn in by Police Chief Bart Connelly.
“One of the proudest days of a police officer’s life is his swearing in,” Connelly said, adding that he was proud to add the boy to the department’s family.
Sgt. David McConnell, head of the K-Unit, explained that the CCPD learned about Zachary and his condition from a friend of the Bouchers. McConnell then set about making the boy’s dream come true.
“It was very difficult finding a uniform for an 8-year-old,” he said.
For the ceremony, Zachary donned his official K-9 uniform, including a shirt and hat. The boy’s best friend and uncle, Ryan Boucher, 17, presented him with an official K-9 badge and pinned it on.
“The badge that he’s wearing was off my original K-9,” McConnell said. “My first dog that I worked with – Grizzly.”
With the Cape police since 1989, he has spent most of his tenure within the K-9 Unit.
The elements of Zachary’s uniform were donated by two outside vendors.
“There were a lot of people that came together,” McConnell said.
Prior to Tuesday’s swearing in, Zachary got to take part in his first police ride-along.
“I was told that he was receptive to training, which means he did very well,” Connelly said.
Zachary noted that he got to write a traffic ticket during his ride-along.
“This is all new,” he said, adding that he was excited.
Following the ceremony, McConnell and his unit took Zachary to the CCPD’s K-9 Training Facility, where the boy learned how to handle a K-9 using various commands like down, up and attack.
Asked about being sworn in as a police officer, Zachary said he was shocked.
“It’s better than SeaWorld,” he said.
Home schooled, Zachary loves dinosaurs and is a fan of Florida State University. His nickname is Binx, after the cat in the movie “Hocus Pocus.” Last June, his family moved to the Fort Myers area.
“He has a lot of difficult things in front of him,” McConnell said, adding that he hoped they made Zachary’s dream come true. “This is fun. It’s fun to make somebody’s dream come true.”