This year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade bittersweet for one member of the NYPD

NEW YORK CITY -- Amidst the pageantry of inflatables along Sixth Avenue as well as the dump trucks and the eyes in the skies nearby, stand members of the NYPD at the ready.

In fact, more than 3,000 were in attendance for this year's Thanksgiving parade, according to the department.

One of those smack in the middle of it, is Detective Danny Nestor.

"It's breathtaking. I mean how does it not get your adrenaline pumped being out her," said the 23-year department veteran prior to the start.

On Thursday, PIX11 News spent an hour on the beat with Detective Nestor. We quickly realized he is not only a busy guy, but a popular one.

Even with some of the departments four-legged friends were excited to see him near Bryant Park.

Nestor is a Community Affairs Officer for Manhattan South today marked his 22nd straight parade --- his 14th in his current role.

He arrived at the parade site this morning before sunrise as he does every year.

"We walk the route, we make sure everything is OK," Nestor said. "Everybody has a good time. Everybody gets home safe and sound. Then I go home and root for the Cowboys."

Alright so the Cowboys reference proves that in the eyes of his many he may not be perfect, but what Nestor and his colleagues do on a day like Thursday is create the perfect experience for some families.

Aside from keeping an eye on the parade like every other member of the NYPD along the route Nestor will look out for some of those families --- in or out of the department --- with that one special member, who may need a bit more assistance.

It is an unwritten tradition to create a memorable experience for some families in the style of the Make-A-Wish foundation, but it is done on the spot.

When asked what it is like when he sees a smile emerge on someone's face?

Nestor says, "That is the biggest reward. That is why we became cops. You know you became a cop to help somebody. There is no other reason to become a cop than you wanted to help people."

As he finished his response, a small crowd several yards away chanted, "N-Y-P-D, N-Y-P-D."

Nestor then shared, "I've been cheered, I've been booed, I've been asked for my autograph, half the time nobody knows who I am."

Which is no bother to him.

However, scenes like several of those captured by PIX11 during the parade will soon be gone. This was Detective Nestor's final parade. He is set to retire in the near future. No more major events on the streets of the city for him and he is just fine with it.

"I've been blessed. I've had a great career. I would not trade, I mean as a little kid you have aspirations of doing certain things, I wouldn't have traded the last 23 years for anything."