Twin brothers with special needs who live outside of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community took a special tour of the Salt River Police Department on June 24. The twins are enrolled in one of the sister tribes, but they have ties to the Community and the Salt River St. Francis Church.
Foster mother Mary Jane Mooney and her adopted twin sons, Roy and Ray, met with officers and toured the Salt River Police Department. The SRPD K-9 division provided a demonstration, and the family was able to tour the police station to see where the police officers work, examine the interior of police vehicles, take a look at the department’s motorcycles, and visit the SRPD Command Center.
Mooney indicated that when she was first introduced to SRPD Off. Lisa Whittaker, she learned that Ray had had the opportunity to meet the late Off. Jair Cabrera at one point in his life. After Cabrera’s death, Ray would say Cabrera was his guardian angel, which helped him to come out of his shell a little more. Whittaker met with Mooney and mentioned to her that the police department would be willing to give the twins a tour.
Off. Whittaker first described to the family her trip to Washington, D.C., for National Police Week to honor Off. Cabrera, whose name had been added to the Wall of Honor at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
“When I was [in Washington], I met the director of the 100 Club, which is a club that takes care of families of officers who are injured or killed in the line of duty,” said Whittaker.
Mooney does her best to bring Roy and Ray to as many Community events as possible to show them who they are as Native children. Mooney also has a son who is currently a police officer in the state, and the family always shows support to fallen officers. They attended the recent candlelight vigil and the funeral for Off. Cabrera.
“I enjoyed the tour. We got to see all the equipment, see the K-9 demonstration and meet the chief. It was more than we could have asked for,” said Mooney.
Mooney shared that Ray loved the tour, which included the recently added memorial plaque for Cabrera on the wall of the police station.
The officers who were available at the time of the tour were able to give both twins promotional items; the chief gave the family challenge coins from the police department. A challenge coin is a medallion with the police department’s insignia stamped on it. These are given to visitors and special guests.