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News Release

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Media Relations

Two Critically Ill Boys Become Cops for a day

"Two Critically Ill Boys Become Cops for a Day."


Cops for a Day

Friday, October 5, 2001
6:00 a.m.

Wilshire Community Police Station
4861 Venice Boulevard
Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Nathaniel Negrete is 7 years old. At the time of his birth, October 9, 1993, he was clinically dead. The first eleven minutes of his life were spent having doctors work to bring life back to him before rushing him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Nathaniel had a heart defect in addition to respiratory defects and was strep B positive. To date, Nathaniel has been in the operating room twenty-nine times, has a tracheotomy, a gastrostomy tube (for feeding) and numerous scars from open heart surgery. He has struggled his entire life with pneumonia, lung collapses and trachea infections in addition to having a stroke.

Christopher McMillian was like any other 10-year-old boy. Playing basketball, passing notes in class and breezing through math, his favorite subject. Twenty-four hours later, he was fighting to survive an infection called meningococcal disease. An unusual but aggressive disease. In March of this year, surgeons amputated his right arm and both of his legs. Christopher has had many surgeries to reconstruct and remove damaged tissue. In addition to all that Christopher has gone through, his father died of a rare lymphoma.

On Friday, October 5, 2001 at 6:00 am, Nathaniel and Christopher's day will begin in Wilshire Community Police Station's roll call room, where Los Angeles Chief of Police Bernard Parks will meet them. There they will be sworn in as official members of LA's finest. Nathaniel and Christopher will then partner up to patrol the streets of Los Angeles from the ground in a police vehicle, from the sky with the LAPD Air Support Division, on horseback with the Mounted Patrol and much more. This opportunity was made possible by The Precious Time Foundation.

The Precious Time Foundation is the brainchild of LAPD Reserve Officer Steve Bertolino who himself endured two "bouts" with cancer. For further information regarding this event, please contact Reserve Officer Steve Bertolino 310-837-3579 or 310-384-3132

This media advisory was prepared by Public Information Officer Victoria Diaz, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586