DETROIT (WJBK) - A 7-year-old boy who is bravely battling two diseases at the same time put on a badge and uniform this week. Detroit Police honored him on Wednesday with the top title in the city as Chief of the Day.
Rodney Burton of Southfield, Mich. has been diagnosed with sickle cell disease and Hodgkin's lymphoma. Rodney's family says he's bravely fighting the disease since birth, and was diagnosed with cancer last year, but there's also something else he's always wanted to fight -- crime.
"I want to help people and I want the city to be protected," he says. Rodney, now cancer free, is getting to live out one of his lifelong dreams.
"This is one of his dreams and I'm just so happy he's able to experience this. It's just awesome," says his godmother, Sonya Clayton.
After arriving at his first day on the job in a helicopter, Rodney met with members of the SWAT Team, the Bomb Squad, Detroit firefighters and Michigan State Police troopers.
After that, he even challenged the department at it's own game -- The Running Man Challenge.
Detroit Police's version of The Running Man Challenge went viral earlier this year. Their dance video has been watched more than 8 million times, and brought in a resurgence of people applying to the department.
Here's the video of Rodney doing the dance with Officer Eddie Torres.
Of course no day is complete without a Running Man Challenge with our very own Officer Eddie Torres.! pic.twitter.com/T7id84csOr— Detroit Police Dept. (@detroitpolice) August 24, 2016
You can see more video of Rodney throughout his day as chief in the video player above.
Chief James Craig heard of Rodney from Rodney's pastor, Pastor Maurice L. Hardwick at Live in Peace Movement. Rodney says his pastor is one of his best friends -- and he thinks very highly of Rodney, too.
"He's a great kid, smart, so witty; he's so knowledgeable. He understands that's going on all around the city. He knows where every street is at," Pastor Hardwick says.
"This is a young man who is courageous, who is suffering from an illness and to be able to give and fulfill a dream certainly brings some brightness to his life," Chief Craig says.