Chief for a Day
The Cleveland Division of Police partnered with A Special Wish Foundation and Fox 8 News to make a 6 year old boy’s wish to be a police officer come true. Kindergartner CJ DeJohn has a rare heart condition and has endured multiple open heart surgeries. He is a spirited and amazing child and we were honored to spend the day with him and his family.
CJ and his family arrived at Fox 8 Studios bright and early on the morning of December 17, 2015. Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams administered the Oath of Office to CJ, swearing him in as “Chief for a Day”. Just after being sworn in, breaking news came through the newsroom…the evil “Crump” had stolen Christmas! The green villain had taken Santa’s magic bag, stealing Christmas from the children of Cleveland. Chief CJ had to act! Fox 8 promised (and delivered) to provide live updates throughout the whole day with reporter Melissa Reid.
CJ spent the day seeking out clues throughout the city to solve the mystery and capture the Crump:
A quick stop by the Mounted Unit let CJ tell his officers that he may need the help of a few trusty steeds…he took a quick jaunt around the stables on Jack the horse and then…
CJ started off at the Third District headquarters where he met with Santa who gave him his first clue, a Toy soldier. CJ then briefed the officers at the district about the caper. The toy soldier clue led CJ to Tower City where he encountered a life-sized toy soldier who gave him his second clue, a key to the city. CJ and his two and a half year old sister enjoyed a wonderful show put on by the Tower City folks and he was cheered on by adoring fans. CJ then returned to the third district to talk things over with detectives and grab a great lunch donated by the Winking Lizard.
The key clue led CJ to City Hall where he met Mayor Frank G. Jackson. Mayor Jackson congratulated CJ on his progress and gave him his third clue, a basketball. After that…the Chief needed a little break. The motorcycle unit was kind enough to escort CJ and his family to Mitchell’s Ice Cream where everyone enjoyed a quick bit of Cleveland’s finest ice cream.
The basketball led him to the Q Arena where he met the Brown’s mascot, Chomps and Moondog from the CAVS. He was also greeted by a Harlem Globetrotter! CJ got to tour the CAVS locker room and was given a jersey and other gifts, along with another clue, a baseball!
A quick trip across the plaza brought him to Progressive Field where he met the front office of the Cleveland Indians along with Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor. He got a brand new baseball bat and Slider the Mascot gave him his last clue…a little guitar! CJ went back out to the plaza where he got to ride in the SWAT armored vehicle and meet everyone from the SWAT team.
The guitar brought Chief CJ to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum! Another quick escort by the motorcycles brought him right to the Rock hall where he met many members of his family and was cheered on by more fans. Officer Paul and his K9 partner Benny were there to make sure that Chief CJ had the resources he needed to capture the Crump.
As luck would have it, all of the clues were on point! CJ was able to capture the Crump as he tried to sneak past everyone at the Rock Hall. The Crump was taken into custody without incident. From the Rock Hall, he was escorted by officers to the FBI building where Chief Calvin Williams and Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony were there to help him book the Crump and keep him behind bars. All of the Special Agents were there to cheer CJ on and he even got a cool plaque, a FBI hat and some stuffed police dogs. CJ returned Santa’s bag to him and Christmas was SAVED!!!
The men and women of the Cleveland Division of Police were extremely proud to partner with A Special Wish and Fox 8 to make all of this happen. Our officers were out in droves to provide support, high fives and bug CJ for photos like the paparazzi! The support from the citizens of the City of Cleveland was amazing. To the fans who followed along, in person or on TV, we thank you all! Your love and support was wonderful.
A very special thanks to the Winking Lizard, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Cleveland Indians, the Cleveland Browns, the folks at the Q Arena, the Harlem Globetrotters, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and to A Special Wish and Fox 8 for all of your kindness and Christmas spirit!
Merry Christmas, Chief CJ DeJohn! We will never forget this experience. Thank you!