At the Cedar Hill Police Department Tuesday afternoon, there was a new chief running a full inspection. Though measuring less than three feet tall, Chief Ah’Maya Terrell may have required a little assistance.
The just turned 4-year-old looked the part in her blue uniform with a walkie-talkie and whistle in hand as she took on an honorary role of Chief for the day.
Police said it was the least they could do after she helped put four suspects responsible for nearly a dozen crimes behind bars.
"It's pretty incredible. It's a good story," said public information officer Lt. Colin Chenault.
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It all started back on January 30 in the driveway of the house Ah’Maya lives in with her grandparents.
"It was around 3:45 in the morning, and I heard Ah’Maya get up and run through the hallways to call her papa," said grandmother LeShaun Shaw.
Shaw said they tried multiple times to coax Ah’Maya back to bed, but the toddler remained resolute.
"She said, 'No, someone's in the yard by Papa's truck. They're trying to get in'," said Ah’Maya.
It turned out the scene she saw unfolding through her window was also captured by security camera. A quick call to police, and they had four men apprehended a couple of hours later.
Breaking into Ah’Maya’s grandpa's truck wasn't the only crime police believed they were guilty of.
"There were several cars that were broken into. In one case it was a house that was broken into, and a gun was even stolen out of one of those actual incidents," said Chenault.
It's a realization that led police to wonder what else could've happened if Ah’Maya hadn't woken up. And they decided to give the pint sized crimes topper a day in their shoes, especially after they learned what she often tells her grandmother.
"She says she's going to be the first Cedar Hill Chief of Police as a woman. I believe her," said Shaw.
Cedar Hill city officials also recognized Ah’Maya with an official proclamation Tuesday night.