BOSTON (CBS) — Members of the Boston Police Department are among the many mourning the loss of Devin Suau, the inspiration behind the #WhyNotDevin campaign and 6-year-old Framingham boy who lost his fight with cancer.
“Every once in a while a young person enters your life and, in so doing, leaves an indelible impression that changes your outlook and challenges you to be a better you. For the men and women of the Boston Police Department, that person was 6-year-old Devin Suau,” the department said in a Facebook post about their honorary officer.
Devin had a rare form of pediatric cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). He died on Friday.
Many in the department first met Devin when he led the St. Patrick’s Day Parade through South Boston on a police SWAT truck, known as The Bear.
Officer Justin Crimmins, an 11-year-veteran of the department and Devin’s uncle, initiated the special day by asking Police Commissioner William Evans for a favor.
“Eager to deliver a day Devin would not soon forget, Commissioner Evans and Mayor Walsh moved quickly to appoint Devin both an honorary member of the Boston Police Department and Grand Marshall of the St Patty’s Day Parade,” the post continued.
Along with leading the parade, Devin was also responsible for addressing police during roll call. “And, without so much as a moment’s hesitation, Devin promptly and professionally told the officers: ‘Stay safe. And, be careful not to get eaten by a bear.’ Lucky for us, the only bear seen that day was the SWAT Truck that chauffeured Devin during the parade.”
“Suffice to say, the day went off without a hitch and for many of our officers seeing the little boy in the little blue police uniform sitting atop our SWAT Truck with a smile stretching from ear to ear most certainly made for a memory that will not soon be forgotten. His family later said that day may have been one of Devin’s best days, and the pictures taken would certainly affirm that. In truth, it may have been one of our best days, as well.”
The post concluded that there was an “indisputable fact that there’s assuredly a special place in heaven for police officers (especially the honorary ones), we’re quite certain Devin’s watching over all of us now” and shared a link about DIPG to promote awareness.
The #WhyNotDevin campaign reached around the country and included several celebrities tweeting their support.
Devin’s wake will take place on Monday, October 23, at St. Anselm Church in Sudbury. Visiting hours for Devin’s friends will be from 1-3 p.m., 4-6 p.m. for members of the community and Devin’s family from 6-8 p.m.