Police officers often are referred to as real-life superheroes. But for Fort Worth PD Officer Damon Cole, the reference is more literal. When he’s not patrolling neighborhoods in Fort Worth’s south division, he can be spotted all around the country in a variety of superhero outfits.
Cole first revealed his “secret” identity 14 years ago when he worked for the Dallas Police Department. He had the Superman logo sewn on his bulletproof vest and whenever called on to help a child, Cole would tell them a secret. After pinky promising not to tell, Cole would undo his shirt to reveal the Superman logo to awestruck children. Of course they would ask where his cape is, to which he replied, wearing it with his uniform would cause it to wrinkle.
In the years since, Cole has added an impressive list of costumes to his superhero repertoire, including the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Optimus Prime and Captain America.
It’s all part of his charity, Heroes and Cops Against Childhood Cancer. Not only does Cole strive to serve his local community, but he travels far and wide to bring hope and strength to children suffering from cancer and other illnesses.
“The whole purpose of what I do is to make that kid forget that they’re sick — to give them motivation to keep fighting,” Cole told the Dallas Observer.
The idea for his charity began about four years ago when Cole heard of a 7-year-old cancer patient, Bryce Schottel, who loved Superman. After reaching out to Bryce’s family, Cole used three days of vacation time to make the drive to Illinois and surprise Bryce at the hospital.
“Ever since then, I will go anywhere to see any child so I can have the same impact on them as I did with Bryce,” Cole shares on his charity’s website.
Since that first visit, Cole has been to 17 different states and appeared at various local events. Recently, Cole got the chance to show his heroism when a shoplifter tried to sneak out of a Fort Worth Walmart with four DVDs. Dressed in his full Batman uniform, Cole calmly approached the man to talk. After a brief conversation, the man admitted taking the movies, which ironically included The Lego Batman Movie. After writing him a ticket, Cole sent the man on his way.
This is just one example of the incredible work Cole does as a police officer and as a superhero.
“That’s just me doing my part to make the world a better place,” Cole says. “My motto is: ‘Make the change you want to see in the world.’”