Skyler Hankins died Sunday, just a few days after being diagnosed with strep throat. The 11-year-old Glenpool boy was laid to rest Friday with a goodbye fit for a hero.
About 50 officers from agencies around Green Country showed up to support Skyler and his family after learning his dream was to be a police officer; Friday they made his dream come true.
“My son wanted to be a police officer,” Skyler's mom, Katrina Harkins said.
All it took were those eight words for a band of brothers to simply, be there.
“This is about us and that little boy,” said Chief Cameron Arthur, with Jenks police. “This young man at 11 years old, wanted to do what we do.”
It was Skyler's dream to one day dress in blue, to wear the badge and to carry the honor of being a police officer.
“We lose an 11 year old, it's sad enough, and then the fact that his dreams were never realized,” Mounds Police Chief, Tim McDaniel said. “There's no reason to believe that he would not have been a police officer.”
Friday officers from Mounds, Jenks, Kiefer, Tulsa, Sapulpa, Glenpool, Tulsa County and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol showed up to Skyler's funeral to let his mother know her little boy is now one of them.
“I'd like to go ahead and promote him to honorary police officer on behalf of us and give this to you,” Arthur said.
The Jenks police chief gave Skyler's mom the badge off his shirt - a badge that Skyler was buried with.
“It's a chief's badge and I think he absolutely deserves it. This is bigger than any of us here, this is so much about this young man and how strong he was,” the chief said.
One heck of a kid is how Skyler was described by his uncle.
He was a little boy who loved Legos and video games, and he was such a Batman fan that his stepdad dressed the part Friday.
He was crazy about his grandparents and the light of his momma's life.
“He was just an awesome kid. He just knew how to light up a room and bring a smile to your face,” Katrina said.
The sea of police officers is proof that Officer Skyler Hankins could even make a stranger smile.
Blood work has been sent to the medical examiner to determine exactly what caused Skyler to die so suddenly.
He was buried in a cemetery just across the street from his grandparents' home in Sapulpa.
A fundraising site has been set up to help with expenses.