Friendship fulfills law enforcement dream for east Alabama student


TALLAPOOSA, Ala. (WRBL) – A friendship formed over “The Price is Right” turned into a dream come true inside Reeltown High School on Tuesday as the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office welcomed their newest deputy to the force in a heartwarming ceremony.

Tuesday, Isaiah Taylor was sworn in by the Tallapoosa County Sheriff. The moment was a dream come true for the Reeltown High School student, fulfilled by a friendship with the school’s resource deputy, Jason Cowart.

When asked to explain why the two are friends, Taylor’s answer is heartwarmingly to the point.

“He is nice to me,” said Taylor.

Taylor has a rare genetic disorder that attacks his central nervous system. Taylor’s health continues to deteriorate day by day. However, you would never know the obstacles Taylor and his family face as Taylor’s smile can light up a room. His family is loving and deeply appreciative of the community that cares for their loved one.

Taylor’s mother, Jacklyn Baker, is an elementary school teacher at a nearby school. She drops Taylor off early at Reeltown High so she can do breakfast duty and drop-off for her students. Deputy Cowart comes in early too, to make sure Taylor gets safely inside.

“I go in early, and he and I just sit and watch The Price is Right. His heart is so huge, and his smile is so big. He’s amazing. He will make you a better person,” shared Deputy Cowart.

While the two watch game shows, they also talk about their day and dreams. Taylor’s mother says he has always wanted to be a police officer and shared his dream with Deputy Cowart.

“Three weeks ago, he told me he wanted to be a cop. So, I went home and discussed it with my fiance,’ and she said, go for it,” said Cowart.

Cowart did go for it, in a very big way. With the support of the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office and Reeltown High School, plans began for a formal swearing-in ceremony for Taylor. A social media post was made inviting other law enforcement agencies to attend the event. The response was overwhelming. Nearly one hundred men and women from various agencies converged onto the high school. They brought hats, badges, t-shirts, patches, and other items to share with the new Deputy. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency also made Deputy Taylor an SBI Agent and presented him with a law enforcement vest.

Deputy Cowart took to the podium for a heartfelt message for his friend turned brother.

“Three weeks ago, you told me you wanted to be a cop when you grow up. Well, you’ve grown up, and you are a deputy. I’m very proud of you. I can’t wait for the rest of the year, spending it next to you watching the Price is Right in the morning, and now it will be as my partner. I just want you to know Isaiah how much I love you and how much you mean to me and this department,” said Deputy Cowart.

Sheriff Jimmy Abbett arranged for Taylor to have a custom uniform and pinned the Sheriff’s star on Taylor during a special ceremony attended by law enforcement, Reeltown’s student body, and Taylor’s entire family. Deputy Taylor was given a standing ovation.

After the ceremony with Deputy Coward at Sheriff Abbett by his side, Deputy Taylor maneuvered his wheelchair through the halls of Reeltown High School, lined with law enforcement officers saluting him in honor and recognition.

Taylor’s mom says her son’s dream of becoming a police officer began several years ago. He loves watching the show Cops on TV, and most of all, Taylor has a desire to help others.

“They get the bad guys,” said Deputy Taylor.

When the ceremony was over, it was time to get to work. Deputy Cowart helped his new partner make his first call over the radio as the two men drove around patrolling campus with their lights and sirens.

The day reached new heights as Taylor boarded a State Trooper helicopter for the ride of a lifetime with the pilots and his mom.

“We needed this just as much as he did. Last year we had six police officers lost in the state of Alabama. Today, Isaiah made the thin blue light a little thicker because of the dream he had,” said Tallapoosa Deputy Chief David McMichael.

The day ended with Deputy Cowart helping Deputy Taylor go 10-42 and end his duty for a day the now brothers will never forget.

“Yes. He is family. He is now a part of the thin blue line,” said Deputy Cowart.

Deputy Taylor will be a senior next year at Reeltown High School. His family may have to make additional room for all of the new family members who will be cheering him on as he accepts his diploma.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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