TAMPA (FOX 13) - Hillsborough County deputies deployed on a very important mission Friday morning: To put a smile on the face of a special boy.
Six-year-old Vinnie, the sheriff's office explained, has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He lives in the same neighborhood as Deputy Derrick Locket, who knew of the boy's admiration for law enforcement and SWAT officers in particular.
But when chemo made Vinnie miss a recent SWAT presentation at Children's Cancer Center career day, Deputy Locket and his colleagues mobilized.
Friday, they surprised Vinnie by making him an honorary SWAT Team member. Deputies rolled up with their tactical vehicle and brought one for Vinnie -- albeit a slightly smaller, electric version that had been donated by Walmart and decorated with HCSO decals.
Photos shared by the sheriff's office showed that their mission was a success: 'Deputy' Vinnie beamed as he toured the SWAT vehicle and got behind his new customized ride.