When Fort Worth police officer Damon Cole isn't working, he might be dressed as Batman. Or Captain America or the Incredible Hulk.
His transformation into these superheroes didn't happen overnight. Years ago, he had the Superman logo sewn onto his bulletproof vest. He wanted to build trust with children that he encountered on the job. He’d ask them to keep a secret and then show them the logo.
“At this point the children go crazy, and they usually ask me where my cape is,” Cole says on his website. “I tell them that I cannot wear it with my uniform because it will get wrinkled. From that moment on that child will always remember me and that can make it easier for me to help them in the long run, because they trust me.”
In 2012, when Cole was working for the Dallas Police Department, he began dressing up as Superman for various community events and visits at local hospitals. Three years later, he gave up a few of his vacation days and drove 11 hours to Illinois to visit a 7-year-old boy with cancer. He visited the boy’s school as Iron Man and later went to his house as Superman.
“It was such a great experience to see how happy I had made him and his family, and that is when I knew that I had found my calling,” Cole says.
He’s been visiting sick children across the country ever since. He even converted his car into the “Batman/Superman Dodge Charger.” Cole was recently profiled on NBC Nightly News. In the interview, he says he’s visited 20 states and seen 1,000 kids.
He told anchor Lester Holt that his daughter, Savannah, is the inspiration for what he does.
Thwarting a shoplifter dressed as Batman
This past summer, Cole was doing community outreach dressed as Batman at a Walmart, when employees said they saw a man shoplifting DVDs. Apparently, one of the them was “The LEGO Batman Movie.” Cole apprehended the man, who was given a citation.
I was at Wal-Mart as Batman for kids day. This male attempted to steal 4 DVD's,I stopped him as Batman. He asked me for a selfie as Batman. pic.twitter.com/Ut2LNg5usb
— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) June 18, 2017
Visiting a sick child in the nick of time
In February 2016, a family friend was trying to set up a meet-and-greet between a 7-year-old boy in Florida with terminal cancer and “Iron Man” actor Robert Downey, Jr. That didn’t happen, but Cole was the next best thing. He flew to Orlando to visit the boy, who died 24 hours later.
Attending a boy’s funeral as Spider-Man
In April 2016, Cole was the first to respond to a call from a mother reporting her 5-year-old son missing. The young boy had drowned in a pool. When Cole pulled him out, the boy was wearing a pair of Spider-Man shoes and shirt. The family had a Spider-Man-themed funeral, and Cole attended the ceremony dressed appropriately.
Keep up with Cole
Follow Cole on Twitter to see more photos from his recent adventures.
— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) January 10, 2018
— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) December 10, 2017
My Tumbler Batmobile finally arrived from Gainsville, Flordia. I can't think John enough for going to Gainsville to get it and he brought it all the way to Fort Worth, TX. I am going to make a lot of children and their families happy with this car. pic.twitter.com/RmTmPsQ6Ha
— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) December 5, 2017