Four-year-old Hudson celebrated his birthday at his home in north Bossier Parish April 21 with friends and family…And a couple of special guests.
Bossier Sheriff’s Office deputies took some time away from their duties to make a surprise visit to join the party with young Hudson. It’s an idea nearly four months in the making.
Back on Christmas Day 2017, Mandie Rhymes, mother of Hudson, made this post on her Facebook page about an event that had taken place earlier that day:
“Some of Hudson’s toys needed batteries, so we made a quick trip to Circle K. He found his heros inside. He wants to be a policeman when he grows up, so this was icing on the cake for his Christmas. Thanks to the kind officers from Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office for making Hudson’s morning even brighter. The sacrifices they’ve made to keep us safe on Christmas instead of spending time with their own families are not unnoticed. Thank you, from one appreciate mama and one giddy little boy. If you know these guys, please let them know how much it meant.”
People quickly identified these deputies – Deputy Jessie Bearden and Deputy Jeff Richardson – who had gone to the Circle K while on patrol on Christmas day. Dep. Bearden clearly remembers what took place.
“We’re sitting there, just greeting people that’s coming into the store,” Dep. Bearden said. “We’re trying to warm up and get some coffee and pace out the day. They came in, and Hudson wanted to talk and take a picture.” The deputies obliged.
“Hudson loves policemen and became starstruck, and Officer Jessie did what he does best, and he befriended Hudson,” Mandie recalled.
Fast forward three months. Mandie was planning Hudson’s birthday party for April 21, and she was finalizing the invitation list.
“Hudson had not forgotten,” Mandie said. “We were sending out invitations, and I asked if there was anyone else that he wanted to invite, and Hudson said his policeman friends.”
Dep. Bearden and fellow motorcycle officer, Dep. Alex Ware, were able to take some time Saturday afternoon and drop by to help celebrate Hudson’s birthday. They let young Hudson, son of Casey and Mandie Rhymes, sit on Dep. Bearden’s motorcycle and play with the lights inside of Dep. Ware’s patrol vehicle. The deputies played with his little puppy as they visited with some of the other kids at the party. The deputies know just how important connecting with kids can be.
“We love them,” said Dep. Bearden. “We love our kids. Never be afraid to talk with us. Never be afraid to visit with us. We love our kids and want to spend a lot of time with them.”
Dep. Bearden presented Hudson with a toy police badge and some toy vehicles, including a police car, police motorcycle, SWAT vehicle, ambulance, and fire truck, with a note that read, “From Deputy Bearden and family from the Bossier Sheriff’s Office Motorcycle Unit.”
It’s likely a birthday celebration that young Hudson and Deputies Bearden and Ware will remember for a long time.
“He’s my friend forever,” Dep. Bearden said with a smile.
Below are more photos of the surprise visit: