With everyone staying at home because of coronavirus, there’s one segment of our population that many people don’t consider to be suffering much, but who aren’t getting to do things normally – to them – deemed essential, like having birthday parties.

Kids aren’t allowed to have people over for a party. They miss their friends. They are missing out on going to the trampoline centers, movie theaters, ball parks, and other activity centers that normally would host birthday parties. And while to adults this may not seem a huge deal, to a kid it’s their whole world as they know it. This restriction from normalcy can make them sad. Someone call the police!

Someone did, and they showed up! Cops and firefighters all over the county, in all departments, are trying to help keep spirits up and make birthdays special for those smallest members of our communities.

If there is a call requesting it, when an officer is already on duty in the area that a child is having a birthday, they drive to the home, flip on the blue lights and perhaps touch the siren, wave and give a happy birthday to the kids sitting stuck at home without their friends during what should have been their birthday party.

Officer Michael Shirley takes a selfie with birthday girl Emillian and her mom, Cindy Cochran.

Two or three minutes of their day may not seem like much to the officers, but it makes a world of difference in brightening the spirits of those children like Shane and Cindy Cochran’s daughter, Emillian. Pastor Shane Cochran had a kidney transplant a couple of years ago, and thus falls into the high-risk category for COVID-19. Because of this, no one is allowed to visit in their home right now, for his safety. This also means that Emillian wasn’t able to have a traditional birthday party. Being that she was turning 4-years-old yesterday, she didn’t understand why. Cue Centreville Police Officer Michael Shirley. Officer Shirley made sure Emillian had a memorable day, even without her friends.

Thank you to all the officers and first responders in our county. Not only are they the first line of defense from the dangers of every day existence (that have been compounded by coronavirus), they are helping a community of kids stay happy in a tough time. Kudos.



  1. Jeremy writes so well and from the heart. His articles, memories and on point observations are just what I need in these uncertain times. Please, Jeremy, keep writing and I’ll keep reading.
    –with admiration and thanks, S. White,

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