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Mendon Third Grader Serves as Police and Fire Chief… for a Day

Caroline Emond, a third grader at Clough Elementary School, was Mendon's Chief for a Day. Standing with her is Police and Fire Chief Ernie Horn.

It's good to be Chief—well, at least for a day. That's what eight-year-old Caroline Emond discovered on February 20, when she was made Mendon's Police and Fire Chief for the day.

The special day was made possible when Caroline's parents, Jim and Mindy, bid on the silent auction item during the Mendon Upton Education Foundation's Rock & Roll for Education benefit, which took place at Imperial Cars back in November.

On February 20, with Police and Fire Chief Ernie Horn at her side, Caroline got an inside peek into what it's like to oversee the town's Public Safety departments.

"Chief Caroline's" duties began at 8:30 a.m. sharp with no time to waste when an emergency response call was received concerning a resident suffering from chest pains. As a result, Caroline, along with her Mom and Dad, jumped in Horn's vehicle with Caroline working the sirens. According to Jim, the family stayed in the vehicle while Horn attended to the resident but that everything appeared stable when they left.

Chief Caroline also made certain the roads of Mendon were kept safe by helping Chief Horn pull over speeders with a radar gun. "It was one of the best parts of the day," she said. And it appears Caroline took it fairly easy on the speeders she caught. "We just gave them a verbal warning," she explained.

She also inspected her officers on duty that day to make sure their uniforms were in tip top shape. According to Horn, she called out one officer for not wearing his whistle.

Caroline's duties also took her to the Fire Station where she received a tour of the headquarters and also got to ride in a fire truck.

Throughout the day, Jim said he was having as much fun as Caroline. "Chief Horn had to remind me that the day was about Caroline and not me," he said laughing. The fun filled adventure ended for Caroline with a delicious lunch at the Mendon Diner with her family and Chief Horn.

Afterward, Caroline's dad had only praise for Mendon's Public Safety officials. "Everyone went out of their way to make it a really special day for Caroline," said Jim. And by all accounts, Horn truly seemed to enjoy the day with his temporary Chief. "Caroline's a sweetheart," he said. "The day with her was awesome and it was a great opportunity for me to give back to the community." He added that the Chief for a Day will likely become an annual auction item to help raise money for the Regional Schools benefit.

Caroline and Horn were also interviewed by Ed Thompson of WMRC to talk about the day.

When asked if she had aspirations to become a public safety officer, Caroline said she thinks it might be a bit much for her. "I don't like seeing injuries, but it's awfully nice to help people."


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