Ten-year-old Colin Toland has been an honorary Ithaca Police Department officer for over a year, and today acting chief Pete Tyler promoted the young man, who’s been battling brain cancer most of his life, to the rank of sergeant.
This morning, acting police chief Pete Tyler said Colin embodies IPD’s SWAT motto, which translates to “Failure is not an option.” Chief Tyler says the promotion will enable Colin to “share his talents and strengths” with the community.
When former police chief John Barber met 9-year-old Colin Toland last summer at the IPD community BBQ, he learned the young man wanted nothing more than to become a police officer, and in September 2016, Barber, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, and many local law enforcement officers were on hand at Stewart Park as Colin was sworn in as an honorary officer.
A malignant brain tumor was discovered when Colin was two, and he has had several brain surgeries and other treatments. He and his family have traveled to Augusta, Boston, Dallas, Rochester, and Memphis for treatment since a relapse in January 2015, “always returning home to Ithaca.”
Last October 1st, Colin reported for his first shift at IPD. “As much as he enjoyed the swearing-in ceremony, this is the day he was really looking forward to,” says Colin’s mom, Tamiko Toland, as she shared a video of the shift briefing, where Colin got to speak to the shift officers.
Colin talked during the shift briefing about his goals for serving on the IPD police force, and the challenges he faces. Then, Colin got a tour of IPD Headquarters on Clinton Street, “before heading over to the Mobile Command Center to show us his skills in maneuvering the robot,” said IPD public information officer Jamie Williamson at the time.
This spring, Officer Colin worked with the Allegiance LEMC motorcycle club to raise $8,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital at an event at the Seabring Inn.
On Friday, Sergeant Colin will be undergoing surgery to remove more tumor from his brain. It’s his seventh brain surgery, says his father Ian.
Our photos of today’s ceremony: