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Young Cancer Survivor Becomes Sheriff For A Day In Bergen County

BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There’s a new sheriff in Bergen County.

As CBS 2’s Sonia Rincon reported, he’s 9-year-old Tommy Minervini and if he’s as tough when it comes to enforcing the law as he was fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the last year — watch out.

“He had five long months of treatment but he’s doing very well. He’s been in remission for two right now,” said Tommy’s mom, Kelly Minervini.

“So he’s back to normal thank God, we hope,” added Tommy’s dad, Anthony Minervini.

But this wasn’t a normal day. Tommy had a very important mission when he put on his new uniform.

“I’m in charge of everyone,” Tommy said.

First some of his staff picked him up and he bonded with his new four-legged partner Oden.

He spent some time meeting the community.

“We’re gonna salute the sheriff!!”

Then, with his undersheriff and brother Steven, it was on to the office, where he would be sworn in as honorary Bergen County sheriff for the day by Sheriff Michael Saudino.

Tommy also toured the old county jail and was trained in some of the latest crime-fighting technology. Plus the basics.

Then it was time for firearm training.

“I got to shoot a revolver and I got the bullet to take home,” Tommy said.

At the county courthouse, the sheriff’s office brought together the families of all the kids who got to be police chiefs for the day in their towns. It used to be just sheriff for the day, but Sheriff Saudino expanded the program, so that more kids could be part of it.

“You see the smiles just on our young officers face, times 22 other towns — it’s a great day, for them, their families,” Saudino said.

All the children have struggled with serious illnesses.

“My mind as a mother just keeps going back to how he was a few months ago, to now, and it’s just such an overwhelming difference. And thank god he just overcame what he did, and he’s just so happy today,” Kelly Minervini said.

“It’s just really interesting,” said Tommy. “(And you liked playing with the sirens, I saw?) Yes!”

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