SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It was a dream that was years in the making for a 15-year-old Ballston Spa teenager. Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York, Connor Hayhurst became a Schenectady police officer for a day and solved a crime with the help of real-life detectives.
Hayhurst was born with a rare heart defect, truncus arteriosus, and was diagnosed with DiGeorge syndrome, which causes issues with his immune system. When Make-A-Wish offered Hayhurst a dream, he proposed becoming a police officer for a day. The Foundation created a larger-than-life plan and recruited the help of the Schenectady Police Department and Union College.
On August 30, Hayhurst met up with officers at Union College, only to find the scene of a crime (devised by Make-A-Wish). Someone had stolen a prized painting and left clues behind. However, Hayhurst and Schenectady police were on the case. They checked footprints and other traces of the perpetrator, which led to the retrieval of the stolen item in question.
Hayhurst brought the painting back to the Union College president in style aboard a State Police helicopter that landed on the rugby field. The day ended with a celebration with the Hayhurst family, and the Mayor of Schenectady, Gary McCarthy, presented him with a proclamation, making it “Connor Hayhurst Day.”
Breanna Hayhurst, Connor’s mother, said Hayhurst still lights up whenever he talks about the big day and wants to tell anyone and everyone he meets about the experience.