Born to be chief

The Prince Albert Police Service honoured Katie Enequist, a Grade 7 student with a terminal illness, by making her chief for a day

Police Chief Troy Cooper and Acting Chief Katie Enequist sit over a book of offences from 1912. The most common offence is "drunkenness."

It takes a lot to lead a police force. In the view of Prince Albert’s police chief, you need to be caring, empathetic, disciplined and “good looking.”

But most of all, you need to be strong. That’s why Chief Troy Cooper chose 14-year-old Katie Enequist, a Grade 7 student from Osborne School, to take over his job.

It’s the first time the police service has named a chief for a day. It’s a way of honouring a girl who has faced enormous struggles with a smile on her face.

Katie was born with a rare medical condition. Doctors don’t quite know what it is, and call it “an anomaly.”

“She’s into kidney failure now. Her lungs are not functioning properly. We’ve had problems with pneumonia,” said her mother, Karlie Enequist, “and we just found out about a month ago, in Edmonton at the children’s hospital, that her condition is terminal.”

Constable Darryl Hickie, the president of the police association, brought her story to the attention of the chief. On Wednesday, Chief Cooper had her sworn in as his replacement. She was smiling, wide as ever, and wearing a crisp white police shirt, several sizes to big.

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