9-Year-Old Who Spent Day As Honorary Police Chief Dies

DETROIT (freep.com) -- A 9-year-old boy who was recently named Detroit's police chief for a day has died, a Police Department spokesman confirmed Monday night.

Jayvon Felton had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood.

He wore a big smile Jan. 31, when police officials arranged for him to get star treatment as the city's honorary police chief. He was flown by helicopter to the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters, where he took the oath of office.

"I can only imagine the strength and courage it takes for this young man, police chief, to fight this illness every day," Chief James Craig said then during a news conference.

At the event, Jayvon reunited with his classmates from Roberto Clemente Academy in Detroit, whom he had not seen in months.

The department released a statement Tuesday sending thoughts and prayers to Jayvon's mother, Amanda Clinkscales, and described Jayvon's impact on those in the department.

"It was obvious that day how special Jayvon was. It was not just his courage that was noticeable; it was his charming smile and his caring personality. The way he looked at everything with this wide-eye wonderment. In the short time that we knew Jayvon, he touched everyone in the department, leaving a lasting impression that will not be forgotten. He will be missed by many, his family, his classmates, and his DPD family," according to the statement. "We can only pray that when our time comes, we have touched as many lives as Jayvon. To his mother Amanda, we say, thank you for sharing your marvelous son with us. Know that the world is a better place because he was in it."

Jayvon's cancer was discovered April 16. Clinkscales told the Free Press at the time her son was named chief that his prognosis was good, but that the past couple weeks had been tough.

"We (were) crying together because he said he just wants to be a regular boy again. And I said, 'Oh no, you are a regular boy. What you have is not your fault. We're going to get through it because God said so, and you'll be just fine, and I love you,' " she said.

Detroit Police 3rd Deputy Chief Rodney Johnson said Jayvon died earlier Monday.

Details of funeral arrangements were not immediately available.


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