WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - You've probably never seen an 11-year-old deputy, but after a special ceremony today in Worth County, there is a new young sheriff's deputy in town.
Mekhi Elizondo is a student in Worth County.
Since birth, he's been diagnosed with Joubert syndrome and Pierre robin sequence, which effect him both mentally and physically.
Three years ago when Sergeant Jerry Walters met Mekhi Elizondo, Elizondo would put his hands behind his back as if he were being handcuffed to signify a police officer.
But Walters didn't want the 11-year old to think of him, a member of the Worth County Sheriff's Office as just someone who makes arrests.
"So I looked up sign language for police officer and sign language for police officer is actually circling your badge and then I looked up the sign language for friend and that's actually taking your fingers and joining them together as friends," said Walters.
Since that day Walters and Mekhi have become the best of friends. In fact, Walters said Mekhi has changed his life forever.
"My wife says I go home and talk about him everyday. He's made a big impact," said Walters.
That's why Walters wanted to do something for Mekhi that he would remember forever.
Today, as part of a C.H.A.M.P. graduation ceremony for the fifth graders, Walters and Sheriff Jeff Hobby made a special announcement.
The two presented Mekhi with an deputy uniform and announced that he would be the new honorary deputy in Worth County.
Now Mekhia is wearing his own deputy shirt tall and proud and standing right by the people he has touched so much.
"I thought I was prepared to give it and be a big strong police officer and here I am, I about broke down doing something that is special to the heart," said Sheriff Hobby.
"I'm just overjoyed because he enjoys the cops," said his grandmother and caretaker Cheryl Berry. "We even have to take him over to the courthouse to see deputy Walters on his off days."
She said she is going to have a hard time getting him to not wear the uniform everyday.
Walters said of all the cases he's handled and all the people he's met in his career, there will always be a special place for Mekhi Elizondo.
"Mostly I'm going to remember Mekhi and the way he can bring a smile to your face by just his actions and the way he treats people and the way he treats his illness,"