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Officer Riley Reports for Duty

  • Riley is ready for patrol.

  • "You just gotta do it!" - Officer Riley

  • Riley attended a real-life briefing and then went out on his first call, a simulated robbery scenario.

  • Officer Riley put on his official uniform and graduated from the training academy.

  • Riley and the fellow members of his “Blue” Class take a group photo.

“ It's been great to see him actually truly smile. ”


- Jennifer, Riley's mom

Riley has had a desire to be in law enforcement for as long as he can remember. His love of police and first responders began in early childhood when he struck up a friendly relationship with his local police department. He has even dressed up as a different member of law enforcement every Halloween, wishing for this to be his everyday life.


Riley has had a desire to be in law enforcement for as long as he can remember. His love of police and first responders began in early childhood when he struck up a friendly relationship with his local police department.

In the summer of 2012, Riley started having seizures and displaying signs of an extreme form of epilepsy. As the years passed, Riley’s doctors administered different medications and performed surgeries to relieve the symptoms, but the seizures continued. After much consideration, Riley underwent a risky brain surgery that succeeded in eliminating his seizures but resulted in paralysis on the left side of his body. Even then, police were by Riley’s side – especially his close friend, Lieutenant Michael Packer of the Westville Police Department, who escorted him to and from the hospital.

Finally seizure-free, Riley was forced to relearn simple life tasks, from walking to showering, to lifting his arms above his head. Despite these obstacles, he was determined to get his strength up. Almost one year after his surgery, Riley walked out of the hospital, proving to everyone that he was ready to travel for his one true wish.

After watching the news coverage of the devastating events of 1 October in Las Vegas, Riley was inspired by the efforts of the Las Vegas Metropolitan police officers who fought to save lives that day. He wished to join the men and women in blue in Las Vegas on the anniversary of 1 October to meet and work alongside his heroes.

On the day of his wish, Riley prepared to leave for the airport, unaware of the surprises that were in store for him. When he opened his front door, he was met with the applause of an honor guard of local and state police departments from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As the police motorcade escorted him to the airport, his journey as a police officer was finally beginning to unfold. When he arrived at the airport in Las Vegas, Riley was welcomed by more heroes— the LVMPD and the Northwest Area Command. Not long after, he donned his utility belt and dove straight into basic defensive training.

With a wealth of newly acquired skills, Officer Riley put on his official uniform and graduated from the training academy. Now an “official” officer, Riley attended a briefing and went out on his first training call, applying everything he learned that day to the scene of a crime. Riley ended the day by meeting another hero, Officer Brady Cook who was wounded responding to 1 October, on his first shift as a police officer. During their conversation, Riley got an in-depth look at what it truly means to protect and serve.

A day on the job as a police officer came naturally to Riley. Destined for a career in helping others, he hopes to one day follow in their footsteps.

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Make-A-Wish® New Jersey
Samuel & Josephine Plumeri Wishing Place
1384 Perrineville Road
Monroe Township, NJ 08831
(609) 371-9474
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