Holley student serves as honorary police officer today
Nick Pifer, ‘greatest kid in the world,’ wears the badge for a day
Photos by Tom Rivers
HOLLEY – Nick Pifer, a Holley student, is congratulated after being sworn in this morning as a honorary police officer in the Gates Police Department. Nick is pictured with Police Chief James VanBrederode (in white) with Officer Shawn O’Mara and Mark Assini, Gates town supervisor.
Nick, 18, was named the honorary officer this morning during a surprise announcement as part of the school assembly. Nick will spend the day in ride-a-longs with O’Mara, who also works part-time in security at Holley Central School.
Nick Pifer is called up to the stage during an assembly this morning. Nick has Down Syndrome. He graduated from Holley last year but has continued at Holley in a post-graduate program.
Pifer is very popular at the school. His classmates picked him as prom king last year.
“He always puts a smile on everyone’s face,” said Tyler Singer, a junior at the school. “He comes in everyday happy and joyful. He is a bundle of joy all the time.”
Nick takes the oath of office to serve the Town of Gates as police officer today. Nick enjoys watching TV shows with police officers. He also has known the Holley police officers for many years. His father, Bill Pifer, works for the Department of Public Works in the village.
“He has always been close to the police officers,” Mr. Pifer said.
He praised Officer O’Mara for working out the honorary police role today for Nick. Mr. Pifer said the community, especially at the school district, have shown Nick lots of love over the years.
“The entire school and students have been phenomenal with Nick over the years,” Pifer said.
He isn’t surprised his son is so well-liked. Nick received a standing ovation from the students after being sworn in as honorary police officer.
“He is the greatest kid in the world,” his father said. “He is so warm and loving.”
A contingent of law enforcement officials, many of them Holley graduates, were part of the celebration today for Nick Pifer. This photo shows, from left: Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower, Gates PD Lt. John Ballard, Gates police officer Ed Bower, Orleans County Deputy James DeFilipps, Chief Deputy Michael Mele and Holley police officer Miguel Bermudez.
Nick Pifer heads to the Gates police car to join officer Shawn O’Mara for a ride-along today. O’Mara of Holley said Nick is interested in police work and asks security officers at Holley many questions.
“He always has a smile,” O’Mara said. “If you’re having a bad day, he will cheer you up.”
Nick Pifer waves to a gauntlet of reporters and Holley school staff as he heads out to spend the day with Shawn O’Mara, a Gates police officer.
“Officer Nick make us proud,” one teacher called out to Nick.
“I will,” he said with a big smile.