Jacob Engram, a twenty-one year old high school student with Apert syndrome, became the first junior officer for the city of Vicksburg. Read more about this story in The Clarion.
Apert syndrome is a congenital disorder that can result in premature fusion of the skull bones, as well as deformation of the hands and feet. Skin and occasionally bone between the digits of the hands and feet often fuse together. Although it may be an autosomal dominant disorder, the exact cause is still not completely certain. Males and females are affected equally. In all cases, surgery is necessary in order to prevent damaging brain development. To learn more about this syndrome, click here.
Although he is still in high school, Jacob Engram has always dreamed of becoming a police officer and serving on the force since he was ten years old. His appointment as junior officer was part of a community outreach effort. Engram was shown prison cells, the court room, booking area, and the ‘drunk tank.’ He was also given a ride in one of the department’s own police cruisers. Engram also met with law enforcement officials from the police training academy.
Police Chief Milton Moore says that he plans to start a ‘Chief For a Day’ program, that will allow children from the community to spend a couple of hours with the chief and the department as a way to foster a feeling of trust between the department and the broader community. Chief Moore hopes to orient the program specifically towards children who are less fortunate, such as those from low-income neighborhoods or who suffer from disease like Jacob. The invitation extended to Jacob was a precursor to the further development of the program.
Jacob’s mother, Michelle Ingram, expressed great gratitude at the opportunity that the department had extended to her son. She knew that his desire to be an officer was strong, and the actions by the department helped make that dream into a reality.
Jacob also used the opportunity to help encourage others.
“To people who have dreams, or who want to become a police officer…do it,” the young man said.