Boy, 9, With Rare Terminal Illness Becomes Honorary Police Chief for the Day

Playing 9-Year-Old Boy With Terminal Disease Made Reno Police Chief for a Day

Meet the new chief of police … but wait, isn’t he a little young?

Ben Anderson, 9, became chief for a day at the Reno Police Department in Nevada amid his battle against terminal illness.

“I’m going to go bust the bad guys,” Ben said during his visit.

The young police chief, who has become blind during his illness, spent the day working with a service dog, carrying out traffic stops and keeping checks on the behavior of his fellow police officers.

“He is very good at giving instruction,” Chief Jason Soto of the Reno Police Department told KTVN. “I think I can learn a thing or two from him.”

Little Ben was diagnosed ten months ago with X-linked Cerebral ALD, a rare degenerative brain disorder. Many people with the disease die within two to five years of diagnosis, according to The Stop ALD Foundation.

“It is going to destroy his nervous system and doctors thought he would be in a much worse condition right now but he is just astonishing us all," his mom Katie Anderson told KTVN. “He’s blind right now but he is doing so many things people with their sight can't even do.”

Ben's community is focusing on spending quality time with him for now.

“He is an incredible young man with so much life and he really just, he is just that compass that we all want to be," Chief Soto said.

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