Nova Scotia

Parking ticket prompts friendship between Halifax cop and kid

Five-year-old Declan Tramley's run-in with the cops has sparked a love of policing and a lasting friendship with the Halifax constable who issued him a (fake) ticket.

Photo of toddler getting a (fake) parking ticket was shared widely in 2015

Parking ticket prompts friendship between Halifax cop and kid

5 years ago
Duration 0:39
Five-year-old Declan Tramley and Halifax Regional Police Const. Shawn Currie have kept in touch since Currie first issued the boy a fake parking ticket in 2015.

Declan Tramley's run-in with the cops two years ago has stuck with him. 

The five-year-old has been fascinated with all things policing ever since he was handed a ticket — fake as it was — for illegally parking his little red plastic motorcycle on the Halifax waterfront.

The photograph of his encounter with Const. Shawn Currie was shared thousands of times on Twitter and Facebook and kick-started a friendship between cop and kid. 

"Shawn and him have had a special bond so he gets excited whenever he sees police officers," said Declan's mom, Lisa Tramley.

These days, Declan has traded his red bike for a miniature motorized police motorcycle, a birthday gift from his mom. He posed with it next to Currie on Tuesday as the two patrolled the Halifax Ferry Terminal.

The photos, shared by Halifax Regional Police on Twitter, show Declan decked out in his very own police helmet and aviator sunglasses, just like Currie. 

Fast friendship

"Any time I see him it's big hugs and high fives," said Currie, who works with the police traffic unit. "It's nice to have someone who actually likes police ... He's just so fascinated with it and it's nice to have a positive influence on somebody."

The two have kept in touch over the years and have even exchanged Christmas gifts. ​It has Declan considering a career as a cop, although marine biologist and firefighter are also high on his list.

"It's painting that positive image in his head that police officers really are good people and they're not to be feared. It's definitely reinforcing that so hopefully it will continue through the years," said Tramley. 

Other side of police

Tramley said she was totally unprepared for the response that the photo of her son would elicit on social media in 2015. 

Currie, who was also photographed sitting on Spring Garden next to a street person last year, said it's important to show people that police want to help the community, not just enforce laws. 

"Unfortunately, they're surprised when they see these photos, but at the same time it gives them another side of policing," he said. "We are interacting with the public on a constant basis and we do build friendships."

As for his friendship with Declan, he said, "I'm sure this will continue for many, many years."