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10-year-old cancer survivor sworn in as Cincinnati's police chief (for a day)

Posted: 7:03 PM, Jun 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-11 23:02:14-04
Blake Hegner Swearing In
Blake Hegner chief for the day

Good news, Cincinnati! The first order of business from Blake Hegner, the new police chief, is sending everyone home for the day.

Sorry, you can’t really leave work. But it was a nice try from the 10-year-old leukemia survivor, who was sworn in by Chief Eliot Isaac at Cincinnati Police Headquarters.

“I like being chief. It’s really fun,” he said.

From there, Hegner got a personal tour of the police station including the motorcycles, cruisers and the police dogs.

The experience was put together just for him.

Blake Hegner chief for the day

Hegner was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 6, according to a short profile on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Cincinnati’s website. The Woodfill Elementary fifth grader spent three years in chemotherapy before his cancer finally entered remission in mid-2018, allowing him to return to his favorite activities: Playing with Nerf guns, building with Legos and spending time with his family’s dogs.

“There was a time that I wasn’t sure if we would be here,” said Blake’s mom Emily Hegner, “so I’m really grateful for everyone at Cincinnati Children’s and everyone who got him through treatment and our family of course.”

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Blake Hegner said he felt honored and thankful to lead the city’s police force, if only for a day.

“I was right next to so many police officers. I was right next to the chief of Cincinnati,” he said. “They protect us from people - like bad people.”

Hegner said he feels healthy, “Feels good. No medicine or anything.”

His fun-filled Tuesday was a gift from Christina Bold, who manages the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Cincinnati’s Light the Night fundraising and advocacy campaign.

Bold, in turn, won it from an auction held by the Matt Haverkamp Foundation, which raises money to support local police agencies through the purchase of K9s and K9 equipment. The nonprofit takes its name from Officer Matt Haverkamp, who founded the Golf Manor Police Department’s K9 unit before his death in a 2005 car crash.

Hegner will be the honored hero of Light the Night 2019 on Oct. 10.