6-year-old boy with cancer becomes Framingham police chief for a day

Devin Suau wore a police hat after being sworn in as honorary chief.
Devin Suau wore a police hat after being sworn in as honorary chief. Keith Bedford/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

A motorcade of Framingham police motorcycles and cruisers pulled up to the station Tuesday to welcome the new chief. He ran the department for only a day, but for 6-year-old Devin Suau, the role was a dream come true.

Devin, who has a rare form of cancer, has long looked up to officers, said his family, who worked with police in his hometown to arrange the visit.

“While we here at the Framingham Police Dept. can’t control the weather, today our officers hope to bring a little sunshine into the life of a very special little boy,” police said in a Facebook post announcing the visit.


Devin’s story has been met with widespread support after he was diagnosed in January with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

His family started the #WhyNotDevin hashtag on social media, and everyone from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to area police departments shared the message.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of Devin’s illness, an aggressive type of brain cancer that has no cure, and to help pay for treatments and make Devin comfortable. He has between eight months to two years to live, according to the family.

Framingham police Chief Ken Ferguson said his department was honored to have Devin come aboard.

“It means the world to us. Here’s a young man battling a terrible disease who has an interest in the police. If we can make his life better in any way, we will,” Ferguson said.

The department pulled out all the stops.

Officers picked up the family about 11 a.m. and gave them a full police escort to the station. Police hung a banner along the way sporting Devin’s popular hashtag.

Once Devin reached the station, he was sworn in as chief by Town Clerk Valerie Mulvey and given his own badge, Ferguson said.


The rest of the day was largely up to Devin, who toured his new domain and met his officers.

Devin’s mother pinned a badge to his shirt.
Devin’s mother pinned a badge to his shirt. Keith Bedford/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Andrew Grant can be reached at andrew.grant@globe.com.