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Jackson, NJ officer steps up to help kid with cerebral palsy

We get notes on a regular basis from families and citizens wanting to highlight a great local police officer. Recently we received a note from Shannon in Jackson who nominated Police Sergeant Mike Grochowski.

Sgt. Mike stepped up when he learned that Shannon's son Jake had cerebral palsy and wanted to become a member of the SWAT team. Jake is 10 years old and has suffered from pain for years. He is a tough kid and when Sgt. Mike heard about his dream, he went into action.

Picking up Jake in a patrol car and bringing him in to meet the rest of the officers was a game changer for the young aspiring SWAT team member. This started a longer-term relationship that included silly string fights with Jake and his brothers and teaming up with the family to help the needy in the neighborhood with a clothing drive and supporting Toys for Tots.

Along with Sgt. Mike, Shannon shouted out Jackson officer Jeff Hebna who has been involved with the family and the community as well. Read the inspiring note from Shannon below:

I am struggling where to being to tell you about Stg Grochowski. My 10yr old son Jake has cerebral palsy. Two years ago we were in a fight to get him a hyperbaric chamber to help control his pain. Stg. Grochowski or "Lil' Mike" as we all know him, heard about Jake. He also go word that Jake's like long dream is to be on the SWAT team when he grows up. Mike reached out to me to make Jake's dreams come true. Jake was picked up in a police car and taken to a day of training with the guys from Jackson who couldn't make him feel more like "one of the guys". This was our first meeting with Lil Mike. He didn't stop there, he continued to check on Jake and even began a "prank war" with my boys. Last winter during a snow day he sent a patrolman to my house to ask the kids to help get some "presents" out of his car from Mike. As we walked out the front door cars came from every directio n. Officers jumped out of their cars with snowballs and began a snowball fight we'll never forget. During this time our family was beginning our pay it forward non-profit for special needs kids. All Mike wanted to know if how he could help. Last year we held our first annual 1st responder vs special needs charity softball game at the Blue Claws stadium. Since Mike was going to be out of town, he called on Officer Jeff Hebna (another AMAZING Jackson officer) to head up a team of police officers to battle it out against our local fire departments. Shortly after that we launched a clothing drive. Two days before the end of the drive I get a call from Mike telling me he cleaned out his closet and had a "few bags" of clothes for us. Later that afternoon he showed up with 5 police cars and a pick up truck full of clothing. He had gone to everyone in headquarters and the municipal building and collected bags from them to donate. After unloading the clothes, all the guys unloaded water bal loons and silly string on all of us! A few months later while Mike played an ELF at the toys for tots drive we went to support him (and get him back with our own silly string war) the whole community was so entertained by Lil Mike the Elf. We are now getting ready for our 2nd annual softball game, once again Mike says to me "How can I help?". He won't be playing in the game.... He'll be in the dunk tank!!! I'm sure there's a million heroic "on the job" things he's done, but to my family the amount he gives back to the community is just incredible. The way he includes his officers he works with and makes them a part of the fun I think should be the example for all officers on how to turn today's perceptions around. Yes, Mike's been a huge help to our foundation, a huge help to our family, but it's not just us. He truly is so involved in the entire community. You can find him at fun raisers but you can also find him at school sporting events cheering on the families in the town and supporting the kids making a positive presence for sure. - Shannon in Jackson

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