Terminally Ill Teen Named Honorary Sheriff’s Deputy for a Day

Eighteen-year-old Allan Gonzalez was diagnosed with leukemia last March. He has aspirations to become a member of law enforcement.

By Samia Khan and Patrick Healy
|  Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014  |  Updated 10:16 AM PDT
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Lt. Dennis Kneer presents 18-year-old Allan Gonzalez with the honor of being a sheriff's deputy for the day at the Palmdale sheriff's station on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.

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Sheriff’s deputies in Palmdale surprised a terminally ill teen with the honor of being a "deputy sheriff for the day" on Monday.

Eighteen-year-old Allan Gonzalez has leukemia, and doctors say he has a month or so to live. His brother Emilio Suarez made arrangements with the LA County Sheriff’s Department to bestow this honor upon Gonzalez, who himself aspires to be an officer.

READ: Holiday Surprise for 8-Year-Old With Terminal Illness

"A lot of people sometimes don’t understand the law enforcement – they’re here to help. A lot of people, they don’t like the police. I like the police, they do what they have to do, this is their job," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez was surprised by the honor. He thought he was just going to the Palmdale sheriff’s station for a tour.

He had no idea he’d become a honorary deputy, a role that includes riding along with an outstanding sheriff’s deputy, getting a full tour of the operation, familiarizing oneself with the equipment, and getting a good understanding of what the Sheriff’s Department does on a day to day basis.

When asked what inspired him to want to pursue law enforcement, Gonzalez smiled and said, "a lot of cop shows."

READ: Boy, 10, Who Died of Rare Bone Cancer Gets Police Funeral

Gonzalez was diagnosed with leukemia last March. Despite the illness, Gonzalez is optimistic.

"I’m 80 percent stronger than I was before," Gonzales said. "I stay strong. I never think negative, only positive. I just roll with what I have."
 

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