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Pint-sized officer has important message for drivers

Posted at 12:01 AM, May 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 07:14:40-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Leaving your car doors unlocked can be a costly mistake and make work easy for thieves after your things, but the Chesterfield County Police Department believes its youngest officer can help stop car break-ins.

When there's this much spunk and ambition, little Officer Daniel McNeil already has a head start on his future.

"We are going to check cars in the lot and make sure we do it quickly," he said, looking around a Chesterfield strip mall parking lot.

Daniel McNeil

Daniel McNeil

Police work is his passion.

"I just turned five," Daniel said proudly. "I'm going to be a police officer for real and stop criminals and take ‘em to jail."

Officer McNeil is featured in a new Chesterfield County Police public service announcement to remind folks to lock their car doors.

It's making its rounds on the web and social media.

"Let's see, is this locked?" he asked, checking one car door that happened to have a CBS 6 logo on it.

"It's unlocked.  We have to warn someone who owns this car,” Daniel said.  “Wait, it belongs to the news. You have to lock your door, so lock it."

While he's making rounds in a parking lot near you, Daniel McNeil may only have a month left on his beat. He is moving in Rhode Island with his family.

But he wants his message to resonate with residents forever:

“No matter where you are, lock your car!”

Daniel McNeil

Daniel McNeil

Although his time in Chesterfield may be running out, Daniel said he's leaving you in good hands. “You're my buddy," he said of Officer Pretko, standing next to him.

“I’m gonna meet me a new buddy, but I'll really miss Officer Pretko," Daniel said.