St. Joseph School of York preschool "officer" Wesley Winslow, 4, of Springettsbury Township, is shown parts of a detective kit with schoolmate
St. Joseph School of York preschool "officer" Wesley Winslow, 4, of Springettsbury Township, is shown parts of a detective kit with schoolmate George Sacarellos, 4, of York Township, left, during an "Officer for a Day" program at the Springettsbury Township Police Department on Thursday, April 25, 2013. (Bill Kalina)

At just 4 years old, George Sacarellos and Wesley Winslow already know what they want to be when the grow up.

They proudly wear their tiny police uniforms and hats, and dream of the day they'll have full arrest powers.

"I want to put the bad guys in jail," George explained, and said he drinks his milk so he'll grow up strong.

Wesley said he sees himself arresting people "for doing bad stuff, like robbing banks." He's already honing his skills.

"He has probably 15 sets of handcuffs from Walmart," said his grandmother, Pat Medina. "He arrests everyone."

Wesley also writes a lot of "tickets" on Post-it Notes, citing family members for infractions such as refusing to give him the remote control, Medina said.

Honorary officers-for-a-day at Springettsbury Township Police talk to real township police Chief Thomas Hyers on Thursday, April 25, 2013. From left: Cpl.
Honorary officers-for-a-day at Springettsbury Township Police talk to real township police Chief Thomas Hyers on Thursday, April 25, 2013. From left: Cpl. Kiersten Daugherty, Chief Angel Hoffman-Hursh, Lt. Arianna Stephen and Sgt. Matthew Curilla. (Bill Kalina)
His love of law enforcement began after his grandfather, Lidio Medina, bought him a two-seat motorized police cruiser.

The two preschoolers from St. Joseph School of York were among six students selected to be cops for a day for the Springettsbury Township Police Department on Thursday.

George was so excited he couldn't sleep, according to his mother, Catherine Sacarellos.

"He eats, breathes and sleeps anything law-enforcement related," she said.

The brass: While George and Wesley were honorary officers on Thursday, four older students served as the department's honorary top brass. They are:

* "Chief" Angel Hoffman-Hursh

* "Lt." Arianna Stephen

* "Sgt." Matthew Curilla

* "Cpl." Kiersten Daugherty

Thomas Hyers -- the department's real chief -- took the four ranking "officers" to breakfast, and the group quickly dispensed with superficial chitchat.

"It was a raw conversation," Arianna said.

"We were open and honest with each other," Hyers agreed, and discussed topics ranging from bullying to community diversity to plea bargains for criminals.

Be accountable: He discussed with them what residents want in a police chief.

"They expect me to be accountable, to be respectful and to be honest," he said.

Hyers also told the students that in life, you can't just own your victories.

"You have to own your ... stumbles as well," he said.

"He's pretty cool," Angel said of the chief.

"I think he's very nice and works very hard at his job," Kiersten added.

In addition to having questions answered, the students did a ride-along, toured the station, inspected police vehicles and equipment and signed a policy change on mentoring and role modeling.

"This is an official document," Hyers said. "It will be distributed to all the officers and becomes part of our policies and protocols."

The protocol discusses the four honorary officers returning next year to mentor their replacements.

Meet the 'brass': Angel is a sophomore at Central York High School and has wanted to be a police officer for about five years.

He said he likes to help people and has good communication skills, which he reasoned will help him be a good officer.

Three of his uncles are police officers, one in York County, the other two in the Pittsburgh area.

"It's not all fun and games," Angel said of the job. "It's serious -- life and death."

Arianna, also a Central York sophomore, also is interested in law enforcement and would love to be a detective. She understands that means starting out as a street cop.

"My mom said I can't. It's too dangerous," she said, then smiled. "She'll get over it."

SWAT dream: Matthew, who wore his junior ROTC uniform, is a seventh-grader at York Suburban High School. He first wants to be a military paratrooper, then transition into law enforcement as a second career. He'd love to serve on a SWAT team, he said.

"My great uncle was a paratrooper," Matthew said. "He died jumping out of a plane in World War II."

York Suburban eighth-grader Kiersten said she's always been drawn to law enforcement, but doesn't yet know what area of that field she'll move toward.

"It's always been an interesting subject to me," she said.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.