The Salem Police Department has got a new member on its force: 6-year-old Dior Stavros.
Salem Police Chief Mary Butler swore in the little one as an honorable member of the department on Friday afternoon – as police officers and firefighters from across the North Shore, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and Salem City Councilors Thomas Furey and Lisa Peterson looked on.
“Dior Stavros, an exceptional 6-year-old young lady from Salem, has been suffering from leukemia and continues to be in and out of treatment,” said Butler. “She is possibly at her best right now before entering the next two phases of treatment."
On Friday, Dior arrived for her swearing-in ceremony - with her own entourage of Mom, Dad and two brothers - at her side. Cops with cruisers from across the North Shore lined Margin Street to welcome them into the Salem Police Station.
Officers flanked Dior’s entourage to the station’s door, where Butler, Driscoll and Ed McNally of Cops for Kids With Cancer Foundation greeted them. After a brief welcome, all piled inside the station’s second-floor classroom for the ceremony.
“What an amazing opportunity for us as a community to come together for the most precious member of community. In this case: our children,” said Driscoll when she followed Butler in welcoming officers from across the North Shore to Salem and thanked them for their support. “We are rooting for you Dior. We know you got this.”
Dior’s mom asked that those in attendance help others – as a way to pay her daughter tribute.
Butler called Dior “brave and strong,” qualities that make her a perfect police officer.
“Continue to be strong and brave,” Butler told Dior.
The ceremony was capped with McNally handing the family a $5,000 check to help them as Dior continues her fight.
Ashley Catatao, a Somerville officer and mom, said the ceremony represented one of the ways in which “cops come together and help members of the community.”
“I’m a parent and I can only imagine what they’re going through,” she said. “It was tough, but it was also great to see everyone come together.”