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Honorary Unified officer makes arrest during first day on the job

Apr 24, 2018, 7:01 PM | Updated: Apr 25, 2018, 1:29 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A 33-year-old cancer patient got the chance to serve as an honorary law enforcement officer as part of his bucket list.

It takes a lot to be a law enforcement police officer these days.

“I’ve been doing this for 16 years,” said Mike Raab, an officer with the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake. “There are lots of foot chases, and stress, and family… the wife being worried about you.”

Even still, though, Raab said he couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

“When you catch a bad guy, that makes it all worth it,” he said with a smile.

That’s also part of why he wanted to partner with Quinn Starks Tuesday afternoon.

It was the first day on the job for Starks. Raab wanted to be with him to make sure everything went well.

“You ready, Quinn? Let’s go riding,” said Rabb as he showed Starks how to turn on the lights and sirens.

Starks has always wanted to be a police officer. It’s just that, with the cancer, he can’t.

“He can’t smile very well, but I know he’s having a fun time,” said Rabb.

It’s tough enough fighting crime. It’s even harder when the bad guy is named cancer.

“The cancer is spreading throughout his brain. There’s not much they can do about it,” said Wade Starks, Quinn’s father. “We’ve known for about six months what the outcome is going to be, and so we’ve been planning what we’re going to do.”

What they’re doing is trying to have as much fun as they can – a true bucket list. That list included becoming an honorary law enforcement officer with Unified and catching wanted criminals.

Just don’t tell Starks the “criminal” they caught from the wanted poster was a picture of another officer out of uniform.

They rode around in a patrol car on a test track with lights and sirens blaring.

They also went to the Unified Shooting Range in Parley’s Canyon to shoot several guns. Starks had never shot a gun before.

Officer Raab grew up with the Starks and helped put the special day together.

“I’ve known the family for 40 years. Quinn’s older brother and I are friends since about kindergarten age,” said Raab. “I love him and I want to help him fill out his bucket list.”

It’s a lifelong bond that will last long after those sirens stop.

“He’s got a little time left and we’re trying to make the most of it,” said Quinn’s father.

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Honorary Unified officer makes arrest during first day on the job