New Haven, VT –  Seven-year-old Hunter Warner has a special connection with police officers. His next-door neighbor and best friend, Sean Hauter, is one.

On June 21, Hauter — who’s based out of the New Haven Barracks — found a pile of gift certificates on his front doorstep.

“The other day, I got home to a stack of gift certificates to Olsen’s Ice Cream with a note that said, ‘Thank you for what you do,’” Hauter said.

They were sent by Hunter, a special needs student at Vergennes Union Elementary. Hunter saved two months’ worth of his allowance, adding up to $50, to buy ice cream for all twelve troopers at the New Haven Barracks. Every certificate was addressed to a specific officer.

“I sent an email out to the barracks, and I put them all into their mailboxes,” Hauter said. “They were all ecstatic, and we put together a thank you card.”

Hunter says he was inspired to give these gifts out of his gratitude to the troopers. Later that day, Hunter and the officers went down to Olsen’s Ice Cream to celebrate the occasion and use up their certificates.

“We got some ice cream together on a hot day,” Hauter said. “You can’t ask for much more than that.”

Hunter even received his very own Vermont State Trooper license plate and police badge.

Outside of the barracks, Hunter and Hauter are also a tight-knit duo. They spend lots of time together — playing yard games, hosting barbecues, and letting their dogs play with each other.

To Hauter, Hunter’s act of kindness is touching as a sign of the troopers’ positive impact on future generations.

“It means a lot to us that, you know, we have kids who look up to us and who we can inspire and have an impact on,” Hauter said.

As for Hunter, he says he’s looking forward to one day wearing the green and gold, to “be in the same car as Sean.”