A trio of South Dakota boys with special needs got the surprise of a lifetime when a group of police officers shut down a road and used four squad cars to give the boys an extra special photo shoot.
Zane, 13, Owen, 11, and 7-year-old Elliott have long dreamed of being police officers. So, earlier this month, photographer Carrie Lewis of Glass Crown Photography enlisted the help of the Rapid City Police Department to give the boys a police-themed shoot.
“They blocked off an entire road, brought four squad cars and let these kids live their dreams!” Lewis said of the officers in a moving post on the Love What Matters Facebook page. “The kids were able to sit in the front seats, wear the officer jackets and get pictures with all of the cops.”
She added: “Their faces lit up and it was so amazing to watch dreams come to life in front of you.”
Zane has down syndrome and Elliott, who suffers several ailments, was recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy in his legs, Lewis said. Owen has Angelman syndrome, an incurable disorder that causes developmental disabilities and affects the nerves.
“I created this shoot so special needs kids would have a chance to live their dream. When I started this campaign, parents told me many photographers won’t photograph special needs kids,” Lewis tells PEOPLE. “They are just like other kids with dreams too.”
Photos from the big day showed the boys all sporting wide smiles as they posed in the squad cars and alongside the officers.
The police department shared photos of the boys with officers on Facebook, writing, “We were honored to help these kids have a day they will remember forever!”
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Now, Lewis hopes her deed will inspire other photographers to work with special needs children.
“I hope it inspires other photographers to be more open minded and I hope people view special needs kids in a new light as well,” she says. “I could not have done this without our local [police department] though!”