A police officer. An FBI agent. A CIA operative.
Since his mid-teens, Blake Zika has wanted to be all three.
After receiving a surprise honor at the Tustin Police Department on Thursday, it’s safe to say he’s settled on being a cop.
Blake, 22, was designated Honorary Officer for the Day on Aug. 28 by Tustin Police Chief Charles Celano — a family friend who was moved to recognize Blake for his undying support of law enforcement.
Grinning throughout the morning ceremony, Blake not only received a framed certificate and a chief’s challenge coin, but a Tustin PD cop uniform with a real patch and nameplate that his parents doubt he’ll ever take off.
“You’re not just going to make his day or week or year, but his life,” Blake’s mother, Stacy Lynch, told Tustin PD officers and employees, as well as city officials including Mayor Al Murray, who gathered in the PD briefing room for Blake’s swearing-in ceremony.
Murray, a former Irvine PD lieutenant and 35-year law enforcement veteran, posed for pictures with Blake, who grew up in Huntington Beach and loves to bowl.
“You look a lot better than I did in that uniform,” Murray quipped.
Blake has epilepsy and the mental perspective of a 5- or 6-year-old, Stacy Lynch said. He has weathered three brain surgeries and has taken more than two-dozen medications to help control severe seizures.
After watching the teen superspy action-comedy flick “Agent Cody Banks” when he was 15, Blake fell in love with all things related to law enforcement.
He’d greet cops when he saw them around town.
Every day, for at least a few hours, he’d dress up in a makeshift police uniform cobbled together from items purchased from a military surplus store.
And Blake would play protector to his now 9-year-old twin half-siblings, Kendell and Ryan (he has three older siblings: Tyler Zika, 26; Tad Zika, 24; and Kyle Lynch, 18).
Now, Blake has the blessing of the Tustin PD as he ventures out to save the world.
“He has an absolute love for law enforcement and he’s a sweet, kind, caring person – that’s rare in the world,” Celano said. “I wanted to honor that.”
After putting on his new Tustin PD uniform, Blake spent a few minutes sitting in a black-and-white as an officer showed him how the lights and siren work.
Blake grinned away.
Celano said he may make Honorary Officer for a Day an annual designation to remind the public about the positive aspects of police work.
“These days, we hear and see a lot of negative press about law enforcement,” said Celano, who for years has known Blake’s step-father, Ken Lynch, a Tustin cop for a few months in the early 2000s.
“This is an opportunity to show the public that we have compassion and care for the community,” Celano said. “We’re not all about arresting people and putting them in jail. Our job is to be the peacekeepers and guardians of the public trust.”