Smiles Behind the Shield: Saraland police officer nails birthday surprise

Smiles Behind the Shield

SARALAND, Ala. (WKRG) — The sound of a police siren is not something you normally want to wake up to and for 14-year-old James Brady, it was one of many birthday surprises.

“I’ll never forget it,” he says. His birthday came shortly after the shutdown of just about everything because of Covid 19. “I’m going to have a terrible birthday because there is nothing to do and I wanted to go like to the beach and all that and I couldn’t because it was closed.”

His mom, Rita, decided on a drive-by birthday celebration and called the Saraland Police Department for a little back-up. “I was trying to get it where he was going to lead the parade but it happened so much better than it was.”

Enter Officer Allen Nail. He showed up early, spent some one-on-one time with James going through all the bells and whistles of the patrol car, “he did pretty much everything but talk on the radio.” and all this, ‘after’ a 12-hour shift. “James just seemed like an outstanding child and I wanted to make sure he didn’t just think it was me doing my job going over there and seeing him. I wanted to have an impact on him,” said Nail.

An impact may be an understatement, “I wanted to be preacher but now I want to be a preacher and police officer,” said James. In his wallet he carries a card Officer Nail left with him with words James will likely remember for a lifetime. “Happy Birthday. James you’re an amazing cool kid! I hope your birthday is as cool as you are.”

Congratulations officer Allen Nail. We think you are pretty cool too.


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