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Oldest and longest serving LEO in the world dies at 99

Texas deputy Bill Hardin started his law enforcement career on Feb. 1, 1947


Photo/Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Facebook

By Sarah Calams

CLEBURNE, Texas — A Texas sheriff’s office is mourning the loss of one of their own – 99-year-old deputy Bill Hardin.

Hardin, who was the oldest and longest serving law enforcement officer in the world, died on Feb. 17, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook.

“It is with great sadness we announce the loss of a great friend, brother and lawman,” the department wrote.

Hardin started his law enforcement career on Feb. 1, 1947, with the Fort Worth (Texas) Police Department. He later served with the Tarrant County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office but spent the last 28 years of his career at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

“Bill was a true living legend. The oldest and longest-running peace officer in the world. But more than that, he was our brother and our friend,” the department’s Facebook post continued. “Bill never failed to share his knowledge with our new deputies and was always ready with a handshake and a smile. His presence within the walls of this agency will be truly missed. But his legacy will never be forgotten. Rest easy, Bill. We will take the watch from here.”

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held February 25 at 1 p.m. at the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum. The service is open to the public.