Pint-sized citizens promoted to 'Chief for a Day'

BURIEN, Wash. -- A police motorcade fit for a head of state rolled into Burien on Thursday, only the stars in the cop cars were all kids.

Shouting over police loud speakers, little voices could be heard insisting people pull over in the parking lot. But nobody got upset. Instead they cheered.

Officers from Seattle to Snohomish and Forks to Ferndale promoted 34 pint-sized citizens to Chief for a day. The kid cops in mini uniforms suffer terminal or chronic illnesses. Thurston County Sheriff Lucy Boyd is in kindergarten and says she'd rather fight cancer than crime.

"I'd take away the bad cells," she said.

A diagnosis of sickle cell earned 4-year old spitfire Isaiah Jackson his Tacoma Police Chief badge.

"If I see bad guys, I'm gonna put 'em in jail. I don't see bad guys though," said Jackson, who was surrounded by officers and relatives.

The event gave the children who wore chief caps, boots, cuffs an afternoon of fun horses and helicopters, a day away from the hospital. The legislature approves the chief for a day ceremony and fundraisers, businesses, and tribes cover the cost.

With her new role, UW police chief Athena Pentcholov said she wanted to raise her dad's officer salary and buy doughnuts for everyone.

Lake Forest Park police gave 14-year old Matthew Sheppard a badge and bags of presents, including Seahawk tickets and jerseys.

"I wanna be a cop," said Matthew from his wheelchair.

But his mother, Tansy Sheppard, doubts that can happen.

"This is something he's wanted to do since he was little. And when he had a stroke 2 years ago, we knew he could never be a cop, so he got to have his dream," his mother said while fighting back tears.

She was the only one who welled up at the sight of so many courageous kids. The children in charge took control of hearts on every force.