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Backing the Blue: 8th-grader takes time to honor policemen

By COURTNEY BROWN • May 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM

The 14-year-old stood in front of the Norwalk Police department, smiling as he gestured to the goodie baskets in his step-father’s truck.

Tanner Hackwork, an incoming freshman at Clyde High School, wanted to do something special for National Police Day, so four police departments were gifted with goodie baskets Tuesday.

His step-father and Milan police officer Jim Blevins drove Tanner and the goodie baskets to the Norwalk and Milan police departments, the Huron County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Milan at the Ohio Turnpike.

“I wanted to do this for the [fallen] officers that have died in the line of duty and the officers that are keeping our public safe each and every day,” Hackworth said.

The teen already has plans for his future after high school and he knows exactly what he wants to do. He’s got his sights set on being a state trooper, Blevins said.

“My grandpa was in the Vietnam war,” said Hackworth, adding that gave him some of the inspiration for his future career. He also gestured to Blevins, pointing out having a Milan officer for a step-father had some sway as well.

Hackworth still has quite some time to go, however, before he’s allowed on the force.

“He can’t be an officer until he’s 21,” Blevins said. That, however, doesn’t mean he’s planning on sitting around in the meantime. The teen has plans to go to college and get a degree in criminal justice.

“I believe that police officers do not get the recognition they deserve for upholding and maintaining public safety,” Hackworth said.

Before Hackworth and his step-father left the Norwalk Police Department, they joined some of the officers inside so some of them could thank the teen for the baskets.

“This was all him,” Blevins said, smiling at Hackworth.

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