Dubai: A Dubai policeman brought joy to a two-year-old boy after stopping to greet the child when the latter waved at his patrol.
Lt Omar Al Zaabi, an officer at Al Muraqqabat Police Station, told Gulf News that he was on duty on Sunday, September 26, this year, when he noticed a Filipina boy waving at the police patrol. He stopped the car and stepped out to greet the boy who was surprised.
“I put him in the police car and turned on the siren and he loved it. He was happy and he waved again with a smile. His mother told me that he felt safer whenever he saw a policeman or a police vehicle,” said Lt Al Zaabi. “We are familiar with people waving at police cars and greeting us while patrolling the streets.”
Meanwhile, Filipina expatriate Sharon Parilla, 45, said that she was walking with her two-year old son, Neil Sebastian, around 10am, scouting for a new apartment. Neil, who likes cars, waved at a passing police SUV. Two police officers on patrol saw the boy waving at them. Parilla said Al Zaabi gave biscuits and a fruit drink to Neil, who cheerfully accepted them. Struck by Neil’s cuteness and sweet smile, the officer carried Neil inside the police car and let the two-year-old boy come closer to see how the police light bar worked on top of the vehicle.
‘Officers were fascinated’
“Neil really loved it inside the police patrol,” Parilla told Gulf News, adding: “My son loves cars — police cars, ambulances, fancy cars. That’s why he was so excited and gleefully waved at the police when he saw them. The officers were fascinated with my son and one of them asked me if it was okay to take photos with my son and I said ‘yes’ — only if they would allow us also to take photos with them,” she added.
Parilla, who works for an insurance company and is a Dubai resident for 12 years, said it was their first face-to-face encounter with Dubai Police officers. “It’s true — they are very hospitable, approachable and they are easy to talk with. My son was not taken aback when the police approached us. Maybe because my son loves men in uniform,” added Parilla, whose husband, Rudy, is a nurse — a medical frontliner. Parilla, meanwhile, said she had an inkling that Neil would like to be a doctor someday.
She continued: “The police officers asked us where we’re going and I said just right across the street to check a new flat. We had a casual conversation. They also asked which country we were from and I said from the Philippines. It was just a brief encounter, but my son enjoyed it, even if it was too hot as it was mid-morning.”
Their encounter with the police did not end there. On Tuesday, Parilla and Rudy received a call from Al Muraqqabat Police Station, inviting them to come over to the station as special guests. The police welcomed the family and Neil was ushered into the police station’s kiddie area. Parilla said: “Neil was still sleepy when we reached the station, it was around 9.30am, but when he saw the police station play area, he became hyperactive! He ran immediately and hopped on the kiddie police car. It was almost an entire floor of play area and my son happily took the (toy) Ford police car for a spin! My son had a good time while the police officers took us on a tour of the police station and demonstrated to us how the Smart Police Station worked,” she added.
When it was time to leave, Neil cried and did not want to leave the police station.
Dubai Police mini supercars
Before leaving the station, Dubai Police officers presented Neil with a special gift — a fleet of Dubai Police miniature supercars, including Bentley Continental GT, Audi R8, Lamborghini Aventador and a Ferrari FF. Nowadays, Parilla said, whenever she asked Neil if he would like to go back to the police station, the little boy would excitedly reply with a resounding “yes”.
Why public love Dubai Police?
Lt Al Zaabi said that he was always guided by the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, about serving the public by all means. “We have instructions from our leaders to make the force a community police unit and spread happiness in society.”
Lt Al Zaabi said that Dubai Police Chief, Lt General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, and Major General Ali Ghanem, Director of Al Muraqqabat Police Station, always encourage them to send positive messages to the public. “They have told us to make the public understand that Dubai Police are close to them,” Lt Al Zaabi added.