February 24, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Boy, 9, who was Detroit police chief for a day, dies

A 9-year-old boy with leukemia named honorary “chief for a day” in January by Detroit Police Department has died, the department said Monday.

Jayvon Felton, diagnosed with leukemia in April, died at Children’s Hospital in Detroit on Monday, Deputy Chief Rodney Johnson said.

Felton, a fourth-grader who said he had always wanted to be a Detroit police officer, had his wish granted in Jan. 31 when he was sworn in as the city’s “new” top cop.

Felton donned a blue SWAT uniform embroidered with his name and arrived at police headquarters by helicopter, where well-wishers, including his classmates from Roberto Clemente Academy, were waiting to greet him.

When asked by Police Chief James Craig for his first order of business, Jayvon told the crowd: “Take the day off,” to the amusement of officers, his teachers and media who trailed him on the job.

“This ... humbles even the most hardened police officers, and reminds us why we do what we do every day, and how important every precious moment is,” Craig said at the ceremony.

The day was a bright spot for Jayvon, who had not returned to school since his diagnosis, but was tutored by a teacher from home instead.

Jayvon’s mother, Amanda Clinkscales, said she was grateful for “this very happy day.”

Clinkscales’ Facebook page Monday night was filled with messages of condolence.

“I would like to take a moment to send condolences to the family of Jayvon Felton,” said Facebook user Angel Maria Ramirez. “He was such a strong little boy! He had a lot of support from his wonderful mother Amanda Clinkscales!”

Funeral arrangements were pending, police said.

TBriscoe@detroitnews.com
(313) 222-2541

Nine-year-old Jayvon Felton smiles with his police badge after being sworn in as Detroit's honorary chief of police for the day by the actual Police chief James Craig (not pictured) at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters on Friday, Feb. 1, 2014. Felton was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. / David Coates / The Detroit News