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5-year-old battling cancer lands dream job with UND Police Department

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GRAND FORKS, ND--There's a new cop walking the streets of Grand Forks.

He's not undercover, but he may be easy to miss in passing.

But his determination to be a crime fighter is unmatched.

Reporting for his first shift, Hudson Tanabe walked into the University of North Dakota Police Department with some fresh pizza hoping to hit it off with his new brothers in blue.

He's only 5, but the UND Police Department wanted to get a badge on him before another department did.

“He knows his way around the playground, he knows SpongeBob, knows Disney Channel, those are great combinations we look for in an officer, and we love to have the opportunity to have him with the best cops around,” said chief Eric Plummer.

It's Hudson's dream job. And the chief already knows he'll be a great crime fighter. The past year has been a fight for life for the little boy.

“I thought a lot about missed opportunities, and times I wished I had spent more time with him, lamented those missed opportunities," said Hudson’s dad Marcus. 

Early last year Hudson was diagnosed with Leukemia. But there is hope. His cancer is in remission. But the fight is far from over. He must taken chemo medication for 2 years.

“All those medications take their toll and wear on him. The thing with Leukemia is it has a high recurrence rate, so he is trying to fight his own body from making new cancer cells,” said Marcus Tanabe.

After a quick tutorial of how to work his squad it was time to hit the streets for patrol. We asked what inspired him to be a cop.

“Because they have so many buttons on the police car,” replied Hudson.

It didn't take long for Hudson to activate the button to turn on the lights and siren.

“Went through a stop sign,” Hudson said to the chief. 

Following the traffic stop, chief Plummer was pretty impressed with his rookie.

“Very attentive, looks good in his uniform, got his hat already, asking very good questions,” said Chief Plummer.

After a quick swing by the president's house, it was time for the chief and his new hire to talk about the department’s diet routine.

"Do you like donuts," asked Hudson

"I like donuts," the chief replied. 

"How many donuts?" asked Hudson

"Normally I eat about 3 or 4," replied the chief.

"I would say 5 or 6," Hudson said referring to how many he would eat.

Word must have spread quick about UND Police Department's newest officer. There were no other bad guys in sight for the rest of Hudson's shift.

“You are going to be a really good officer,” said Chief Plummer.

After finalizing paperwork from his from his first shift, it was time for Hudson to sign off for the day, because his mom and dad had dinner waiting at home.

“You are part of the UND family now,” said chief Plummer as Hudson left for the day.