On Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, Hoquiam Police Department’s “Chief for a Day,” Dylan Ellefson, was sworn-in at City Hall by Mayor Jack Durney.
The 12-year-old from Montesano is being treated for leukemia for a second time, after being cancer-free for seven years. Department officials hoped to raise $1,000 to purchase items Ellefson can use during treatment, such as a laptop to do homework while he is in the hospital.
Donations have poured in, according to Chief Jeff Myers. More than $3,100 in gifts and support have been donated, he said. In addition, four solid gold coins were anonymously delivered by taxi, and Myers says the department plans to convert the coins into a college fund for Dylan at Edward Jones in Hoquiam.
The Chief for a Day program is intended to celebrate the lives of children diagnosed with life-threatening or chronic medical conditions.
Ellefson’s oath of office included a promise to enjoy the time with his family and new law enforcement friends while representing the Hoquiam Police Department at “2014 Chief for a Day” at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission on, Aug. 21.
In addition to a station tour, walk-through to check on his prisoners in the City Jail and visit to the Hoquiam Fire Department, Chief Ellefson was escorted in a Hoquiam fire engine to the Levee Street docks. He and his family were treated to a private ride on a Brusco tractor tugboat, including time at the controls of the $11 million vessel.
Since the tug is “drive-by-wire technology” and acts like a giant jet-propelled watercraft, Chief Ellefson maneuvered the vessel up the river. Being a kid with great familiarity with video games, Dylan was a natural and drove the tug like a pro, Myers wrote in a press release.
At the academy on Aug. 21, “34 little chiefs and sheriffs gathered at the academy in Burien after a motorcade from the ShoWare Center in Kent,” Myers explained by email. “They had a ceremony followed by lunch and visits to the displays set up in the parking lot, including the Port of Seattle bomb squad, King County helicopter, search and rescue groups, Washington State Patrol specialty units, Mercer Island boat patrol and a display from Fish and Wildlife, just to name a few.”
Dylan was honored at Monday’s city council meeting, and the department plans for him to be in a department patrol car leading the Loggers Playday Grand Elks Parade on Sept. 6.