Little did Const. Scott Aikman know his afternoon would end on a very high note after attending a call in the city’s west end.
While assisting the Emergency Task Force with an incident at an apartment building on Lawrence Ave. W. on August 8, the Police Dog Services (PDS) member noticed two boys in a ground floor unit trying to get his attention.
“They were knocking on the window and pointing at my dog,” said Aikman, who was recognized for investigative excellence in 2015 with the William Bishop Award. “I could tell they were quite enthralled with the dog.”
At the end of the call, he went to the window and put Baron’s paw against it.
Baron is a seven-year-old General Purpose German Shepherd.
“The lads giggled and did some fist pumping which I thought was cute,” Aikman, a Service member for 29 years, said. “As I turned to walk away, a gentleman approached me, saying the boys were his sons and they absolutely love the police.”
The officer invited the father to bring the boys outside to meet his second dog, Karma, which is a five-year-old Dutch and Italian Shepherd trained to detect guns and drugs.
“This dog is quite calm and gentle when around children,” he said.
Diagnosed at age two-and-a-half years with Chiari, a brain condition in which brain tissue extends to the spinal canal, nine-year-old Steven Spice has undergone two brain surgeries.
The malformation is incurable.
Seven-year-old Liam suffers from Autism.
“As I was processing this information, the boys told me they wanted to be police officers when they grow up, but they don’t think they would be able to do that because of their health challenges,” said Aikman who has been a PDS member since 2014. “They said they wanted to be in the line of policing to help the community.”
Aikman also learnt from the parents that their sons would shout out, ‘Metro Cops are Tops’ whenever they saw a police car.
“That literally blew my mind, especially in this day and age when there is such negativity floating around,” he said. “What a blessing to meet not just a family, but specifically these two young boys who just want to love people and are more than willing to show their love and appreciation for the police.”
Cristal Spice, the boys’ mother, said meeting Const. Aikman and his dog made her sons day.
“They get excited when they see police officers because it’s a profession they always say they want to pursue,” she added. “What made the experience even more special is the fact that the officer gave them his time and made them feel very comfortable around him and his dog.”
Starting a toy drive almost seven years ago, the brothers have donated almost 5,000 toys to three organizations, including Sick Kids Hospital and Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre.
Steven has also started a campaign to raise $50,000 to establish the first Chiari Research Fund at Sick Kids Hospital.