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Monte kid’s ‘chief for a day’ lasts for a week in Hoquiam

Wearing a police badge and uniform, 13-year-old Dylan Ellefson was officially sworn in last week as the chief of police for the city of Hoquiam. Ellefson, who splits his time between his dad’s home in Montesano and mom’s home in Buckley, was celebrated under the state’s “Chief for a Day” program, although his “day” actually lasted for about a week.

Although he doesn’t really have a connection to Hoquiam, it didn’t really matter to anyone. What was important was to celebrate the lives of children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening or chronic medical conditions. In Ellefson’s case, he is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia — for the second time since he was 3 years old.

On Monday, Aug. 18, Ellefson was officially sworn in as chief at Hoquiam City Hall by Mayor Jack Durney. A special chief’s badge was made in his honor.

“In addition to a station tour, a walk-through to check on his prisoners in the city jail and a visit to the Hoquiam Fire Department, Chief Ellefson was escorted in a Hoquiam fire engine to the Levee Street docks,” a press release from the Hoquiam Police Department notes. “Dylan and his family were treated to a private ride on a Brusco tractor tug-boat, including time at the controls of the $11 million vessel. Since the tug is drive by wire technology and acts like a giant jet-propelled watercraft, Chief Ellefson maneuvered the vessel up the river. Being a kid with great familiarity with video games, Dylan was a natural and drove the tug like a pro.”

During his tug boat trip, Ellefson was also given a certificate as an honorary U.S. Merchant Marine Officer, making him a “Master of tractor tugs in Grays Harbor.”

On Thursday, Aug. 21, Ellefson officially represented the city of Hoquiam at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, where he participated in a motorcade along with dozens of other kid chiefs from across the state.

And on Monday, Aug. 26, Ellefson was celebrated again at the Hoquiam City Council meeting.

Those who want another chance to look for and celebrate Ellefson can spot him at the Loggers Playday parade, noon on Sept. 6 in downtown Hoquiam. He’ll be riding in a patrol car during the parade.

Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers thanked the community across the Harbor for coming through with thousands of dollars in donations. The hope was to just get enough to buy a computer, but thousands more dollars came through.

One special donation came a few weeks ago when a taxi showed up at the Hoquiam Police station. The taxi driver exited and gave officers a package.

“We didn’t know what to expect, but when we opened it we discovered four coins wrapped in hundred dollar bills,” Myers said.

The coins included two South African Krugerrands and two American Eagle silver c oins.

“I’ve never held a Krugerrand,” Myers said. “And this was given anonymously for Dylan. What amazing generosity.”

The four coins are valued at about $5,000, although Myers said the coins still must be officially appraised. The funds will go into a college scholarship for Ellefson.