West Hartford PD honor boy who died from cancer by making him a SWAT cop

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WEST HARTFORD -- A 12-year-old Hartford boy who lost his battle to cancer five years ago, was recognized by the West Hartford Police Department Friday.

It was a dying wish and, you could say, Marcus Stephens will now be remembered as a "top cop".

Stephens always wanted to be a police officer and before he died, he was able to visit the crew at the West Hartford Police Department. He was even named "officer for a day" and toured the S.W.A.T. unit's bearcat vehicle.

Henda Johnson, Stephens' mother.

In Stephens' memory, family friend Jason Kovolski, partnered with Sgt. Tony Anderle to do more to remember Stephens.

The police made him an honorary S.W.A.T. team member. Stephens' family and friends were invited to the station for a ceremony that included dedicating a plaque for him as well as receiving a proclamation from the town of West Hartford.

"Hopefully we can fulfill some of Marcus' dreams not only by becoming a police officer, now he's made it to the SWAT team," said Sgt. Anderle.

Stanley Williams, Stephens' brother, said he was ecstatic with the honor.

Henda Johnson, Stephens' mother.

"We're blessed, we're just blessed," he said. "My little brother wanted nothing more than to be on S.W.A.T."

Henda Johnson, Stephens' mother, held back tears when she held the plaque honoring her son.

"I know this is what Marcus would have wanted if he was here today," she said.

The plaque will hang on the wall in West Hartford's S.W.A.T. room wall, only open to team members.

Sgt. Anderle added, "we'll see Marcus, every day."