Chief For a Day

The Big Day

"Chief for a Day" is a biannual celebration facilitated by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission whereby children with chronic illnesses have the opportunity to focus on their lives and not their illnesses. Local law enforcement agencies in the region sponsor a child, who enjoys "chiefly" recognition throughout the year at numerous events.

The Bainbridge Island Police Department's 2016 Chief for a Day is seven-year-old Zoe Henry, who was born with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia in 2008.  Zoe was given a 25% chance of survival.  After almost 3 months in the hospital, including 2 weeks on ECMO (a bypass machine), multiple ventilators, more meds and tubes than you can count, endless conversations with doctors and nurses and lots of love and prayers, Zoe finally came home.  She was on oxygen 24/7, a feeding tube, meds that were given 7 times a day and complete lockdown for fear of germs. With love, therapy, dedication, tears, and lots of hugs and smiles over the next three years, Zoe slowly started hitting some major milestones like eating orally when she was almost 2 and walking at 2 and a half.  She is currently battling Pulmonary Hypertension, a life threatening lung and heart disease, among other things, but never lets it slow her down. Zoe started first grade this year and continues to charm all who meet her.

Chief Zoe received special attention this year at the Bainbridge Island Grand Old Fourth parade, National Night Out, Summerfest, and more. The department also collected funds throughout the year in order to shower Zoe with gifts and toys, school supplies, and many other items.  We are deeply appreciative of all the donors who helped us in this endeavor. The 2016 Chief for a Day event culminated on August 18 where Zoe and other little chiefs from all over the region participated in a motorcade from Sho-Ware Center in Kent to the police academy in Burien, where they were "sworn in" and showered with activities and gifts.

For more information about the Chief for a Day program, visit  If you would like to nominate an island child battling a chronic illness for the program, contact Officer Carla Sias at  The next Chief for a Day event takes place in 2018.
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