Metro

NYPD program gifts South Carolina mom, sons trip to NYC

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He asked for a patch or a pin from the NYPD – he’s getting a real-life trip instead.

Christmas came early for a South Carolina mom and her two sons, who will take in the sights of New York City this weekend courtesy of the NYPD With Arms Wide Open program.

“I can’t thank the cops in New York enough for giving my babies something I could never,” Daniel’s mother, Betty May Pound, of Gaston, told The Post Wednesday, crying. “Thank you is not enough.”

The special four-day trip came together after Betty May Pound took to Facebook to ask police departments across the country for patches and pins for her son, Daniel, who has Down syndrome and has wanted to be a cop since age 5.

Pound was gathering the memorabilia from the departments as a gift for her son’s 17th birthday on Dec. 11.

“I have received patches from every state except Mississippi and Alaska,” she said. “Some places have sent uniforms and tactical vests.”

Daniel with ESU
Daniel has wanted to be a cop since age 5.

But the NYPD trumped that, inviting Daniel and his younger brother Jason – who has obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder – to visit the Big Apple.

“When we heard her story we knew we had to do something,” said NYPD Officer Merritt Riley.

Riley is the chairman of NYPD With Arms Wide Open, a support group he founded in 2013 with retired Det. Daniel Sprague to assist the families of NYPD officers with special needs children.

family with Rockettes
The South Carolina family met The Rockettes during their NYC trip.

Both officers have special needs kids themselves.

The group – which is made up of officers of all ranks, active and retired — helps set families up with doctors, lawyers, therapists, physical therapy and equipment that isn’t covered by insurance.

“We didn’t want families to feel isolated and all alone during their neediest times,” Riley said.

Pound and her sons visited the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree Thursday evening and will meet with the horseback officers of the NYPD’s Mounted Unit on Friday.

She has no connection to law enforcement — but the With Arms Wide Open program stepped in to help because of Daniel’s obsession with police.

“I am petrified,” Pound said Wednesday. “It is the first time me and my boys have ever been on a plane.”

“But I will do anything for my boys,” she added. “I just want to watch my babies smile – that will make me so happy.”

nypd with arms wide open
Betty May Pound and her sons are on a four-day trip to NYC courtesy of the NYPD With Arms Wide Open program.
Courtesy of NYPD With Arms Wide

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