NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A little boy who’s battling a disease could have chosen to go to Disney, but instead he wanted to join New York’s finest as a police officer for a day.

His wish was granted.

5-year-old Eric Cao is part of the Make-A-Wish program, where children who are facing serious illnesses dream up any scenario and watch it come to life.

Eric has been battling an intestinal disease since birth. After suiting up in a custom NYPD uniform, he took part in roll call at the 83rd Precinct Monday.

After a chorus of cheers and high-fives, the newly-minted Officer Cao hit the streets of Bushwick for a mock scenario where he collared a “suspect” who was trying to steal rims off of a car.

His mother, who speaks only Mandarin, says her son has been begging her to do this, but they never dreamed it would be so life-like — complete with a police chopper and an NYPD officer posing as a thief.

The preschooler takes a handful of pills daily for the disease he’s battling, but his family says the chance to be among the men in blue made a difference, even if it’s make believe. Thanks to Make-A-Wish, it was a dream come true.

Not bad for a first day on the job.

Make-A-Wish organizers say research conducted shows medical outcomes improve when children have a wish granted. The group is always looking for volunteers and donations.

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