K-9 unit donor named police ‘chief for a day’
Detroit — It’s good to be the chief of police.
Especially when you’re only 7 years old and almost 4 feet tall.
For one eight-hour shift, the Detroit Police Department enjoyed the leadership of Carter Widmer, who was sworn in Wednesday morning as “chief for a day” at DPD headquarters.
Dressed in a specially tailored uniform, Carter flew in a DPD helicopter to his new job accompanied by his father, Lt. John Widmer, a member of the department’s special response unit.
The chopper landed on the still green lawn in front of headquarters at 1301 Third just as the sun broke through the clouds.
Police Chief James Craig appointed Carter as interim chief after the boy showed his loyalty to the police department.
“Carter was hoping for a German shepherd for Christmas, but when that didn’t work out, he donated his Christmas money to the department’s K-9 unit,” said Carter’s mother, Kelly Widmer. “That’s when the chief appointed him as chief for a day.”
Carter has told his parents he wants to be a policeman when he grows up.
“But he can’t decide if he wants to be a member of the K-9 unit or the SWAT team,” Widmer said.
Once inside headquarters, Craig introduced Carter to a platoon of officers standing at attention.
“All of these officers now work for you,” said Craig, as Carter watched in wide-eyed wonder.
“Here comes Deputy Chief (Steve) Dolunt. Ask him why he’s late.”
“Why are you late?” Carter asked.
“It’s the story of my life, chief,” Dolunt said to general laughter.
In another room in DPD headquarters, Craig read the oath of office to Carter, who grinned while raising his right hand. Beaming away in the background were Carter’s parents, as well his older sister, Ariana, 9.
Craig asked Carter what he did to become chief for a day.
“I donated stuff to police dogs for what they need,” Carter said shyly.
Craig added: “He did it on his own, without any prompting. He did good.”