SOURCE NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE
It started with a random act of kindness.
For Trooper Andrew Silipino, it was the least he could do. A friend asked him if he would visit her grandson. She explained that he loves the police and that he would like to be an officer one day.
So last July, Trooper Silipino stopped at 4-year-old Landon Sheppard’s house to pay him a visit. He let him sit in the patrol car, work the lights and sirens, and talk on the PA. Landon was thrilled and so was his family. The Sheppard family was touched by the trooper’s visit, and they thought that that was the end of their contact with him. They didn’t expect what happened next. But before we get to that, let’s talk about Super Landon.
Landon has been battling cancer since the end of March 2014. His diagnosis was sudden and unexpected. He collapsed while trying on cleats for the upcoming baseball season. At first, the family though he had suffered a concussion. They were shocked when doctors informed them that they discovered a mass in his brain.
Landon was quickly flown to the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP) where he underwent surgery to remove the mass. The family was dealt two blows when they learned that the mass was cancerous and that doctors could only safely remove 80%.
All of this hasn’t stopped Landon. His smile is infectious, and his attitude and fight is inspiring. He has battled the disease with tremendous courage and optimism, despite enduring harsh treatments at times. Trooper Silipino was inspired by this brave young man and decided to do something special. He asked the family if Landon would like a tour of Troop “A” Headquarters. The family was excited and explained that Landon would be thrilled.
So, Landon and his family arrived at Troop “A” Headquarters on July 11, 2014, for what they thought was just a tour. Instead, Landon was able to sit in a State Police helicopter, operate a robot from the Arson and Bomb Unit, watch a K-9 demonstration, get fingerprinted by crime scene investigators, and watch our T.E.A.M.S Unit rappel from a helicopter. Some of the troopers from the helicopter even wore Super Landon tee-shirts, which were made for Landon and have the image of an “L” inside the Superman logo.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, Trooper Silipino wasn’t quite done. When he got transferred from Troop “A” Bridgeton Station to Troop “D” Atlantic City Expressway Station, he enlisted the help of Expressway troopers and civilian personnel, working in conjunction with Troop “A” personnel, to give Landon a Christmas present. The result was a battery powered car that was customized with New Jersey State Police decals, logos, and a customized license plate that reads, “Trooper Landon.” The car was presented to Landon on January 25 at the Atlantic City Expressway Station.
Trooper Silipino went to great lengths to keep this private. He’s a humble guy with a big heart. We would like to recognize his outstanding efforts and all of those who organized and participated in both events held for Landon.
We have some great pictures to share with you! Landon’s mother told us that Landon was beaming with joy at both events, and judging by the pictures, we agree with her assessment!
If you'd like to support Landon, go to his Facebook page, Prayers for Landon. Here’s the link:
Before your scroll through, please check out the names of the extraordinary people who made this happen. They are:
Troop “A” Headquarters Demonstration: July 11, 2014
New Jersey State Police T.E.A.M.S. - South
A/Sgt. Anthony Tomasello
A/Lt. John Parkinson
Tpr. I Shawn Erdman
Tpr. I Daniel Nate
A/Sgt. Salvatore Lopresti
Tpr. II Kenneth Langefeld
Tpr. II Louis Locchetto
Tpr. I Bernard Tennant
New Jersey State Police K-9 Unit - South
A/Sgt. Roger Markert
New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit
A/SFC Ronald Leach
A/Sgt. Adam Wrede
Tpr. II Sam Mantle
New Jersey State Police - Crime Scene Investigations Unit -South
Det. II Edward Brita
New Jersey State Police Arson and Bomb Unit
A/SFC Alexander Perry
Bridgeton Station Commander
Lt. James Meyers
Atlantic City Expressway Tour and Car presentation January 25, 2015
Alpha Corps Foundation - (Funded the car)
Ssgt. Frank Serratore
President: Ssgt. Robert Bauers
Vice President: Sgt. Robert Varnadore
Atlantic City Expressway Sign Shop -(Designed and lettered car)
Costello’s Pizzeria and Wings in Smithville, NJ- (Donated the pizza for the party)
Owner - Tim Cusumano
Atlantic City Expressway
Assistant Station Commander SFC. Vincent Castellano
Squad 2 and Ssgt: Stan Tomczak
Ssgt.: James Kopko
SOURCE NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE
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