Boy, 11, with terminal cancer sworn in as honorary Chicago police officer: 'thank you for taking the call'

There was a warm welcome at Chicago Police headquarters on Monday for the newest member of the police department.

At eleven years of age, DJ Daniel has been through more hardship than most of us will endure in a lifetime, beginning with a terminal brain cancer diagnosis at the age of six.

"In and out of hospitals. He's had 13 brain surgeries," said his father, Theodis Daniel. "He's had vents and cataracts, and he's still going."

On Monday, the young man from Houston, Texas, was sworn in as an honorary member of the Chicago Police Department — badge included. Afterward, officers lined up outside police headquarters to greet DJ as he was introduced by Supt. Larry Snelling.

"Our newest Chicago police officer, DJ Daniel. Thank you for taking the call, DJ. we appreciate you," Snelling said as officers applauded.

Amazingly, this is the 796th police department DJ has joined while crisscrossing the country for the past several years. It started in 2018 when he and his family were displaced by Hurricane Harvey, and some friendly police officers bought them pizza.

"And he said, well if they thought about me and my brothers during the time we were sleeping on the floor, which we were, he said that's a good thing. I want to be a police officer," his father said.

After the ceremony, DJ faced the officers and offered his appreciation.

"I'd like to thank you for everything, and thanks for coming."

DJ's trip to Chicago was initiated by the Blue Island Police Department after its chief read about DJ's mission.

"Just the way his spirit's so lively," said Blue Island police officer Mike Brady. "You see the spunk in him when he was interviewing you. That's the survivor and if we all had attitudes like this, I think we'd all be better off."

On Tuesday night, DJ will be sworn in by a number of police departments in the south suburbs, including Merrionette Park, Posen, Alsip, Crestwood and Blue Island.