97-Year-Old Deputy With 74 Years On The Job Is Oldest Working Officer In History

Holly Matkin

"I'm going to keep doing this until the sheriff runs me out," Johnson County Deputy Bill Hardin said.

Cleburne, TX – A 97-year-old Texas deputy with over 74 years on the job has been recognized as the “oldest working law enforcement officer in the world,” according to the Chisholm Trail Museum.

Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Hardin said he is feeling “pretty good for an old guy,” and that he has no intention of retiring from the force, KTVT reported.

“I’m going to keep doing this until the sheriff runs me out,” he told the news outlet. “If I can make it to 75, I may go ahead and retire.”

Deputy Hardin’s law enforcement career began in the 1947, when he joined the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD), he said during a 2018 interview.

He can still recall his first day on the job.

“They were only hiring people who were at least 23 years old. I was only 22, but I was going to be 23 in a month, so they went ahead and hired me,” Deputy Hardin told the Cleburne Times-Review in 2013.

“When I got on the bus, I was in full uniform, except for my cap shield and my badge. When I got [to the red granite building that housed the police department], they gave me my cap shield, my badge, a call box key and a plastic whistle,” he said. “I worked a six-day week, and I made $165 a month.”

While working as a FWPD narcotics officer in 1970, he and a group of fellow officers founded the Texas Narcotics Officers Association.

He also worked as a police academy instructor during his FWPD career.

After retiring from Fort Worth in 1985, Deputy Hardin went on to serve another eight years at the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office before he again retired, the Cleburne Times-Review reported.

Deputy Hardin then joined the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and will celebrate his 27th year with the department in June.

Other members of Deputy Hardin’s family have also dedicated their lives to law enforcement, beginning with his uncle.

Deputy Hardin and his two brothers all served alongside one another at FWPD, working a combined total of 115 years at that department, the Cleburne Times-Review reported.

His nephew served with the Arlington Police Department, and his late daughter worked as a dispatcher.

The Chisholm Trail Museum recently unveiled a new exhibit featuring Deputy Hardin, who is believed to be the oldest working law enforcement officer in the history of the world, KTVT reported.

Johnson County Sheriff Adam King described Deputy Hardin as a “people-person” who takes the time to talk with the local citizens he serves.

“We want him to know that he is important to us and he’s important to the community,” Sheriff King told KTVT.

Deputy Hardin said he is humbled and appreciative of the honor.

During his 2018 interview, Deputy Hardin acknowledged that society has changed a lot during his seven decades of service.

“When I [first started], there was, more or less, a respect – more than now – for police officers,” he explained. “You didn’t have that much to worry about. But the way things are right now, I would say that you would have to be 100 percent alert at all times.”

He said that developing that alertness is a must for new officers.

“The first thing I’d do would have them to be sure that they can see out of the back of their head,” Deputy Hardin said. “You know, you gotta wonder what’s going on behind you.”

“I’ve learned over the years, it’s not the body inside the uniform, it’s the uniform,” he told KTVT. “I don’t understand why…every time you get out on the street, you’re a target.”

Comments (36)
shooter
shooter

Thank you for your service, sir.

No. 1-32
reverett456117502
reverett456117502

A HUGE THANK YOU, Deputy Hardin!!!!!! You have served mankind well, take a bow!!!!

Cduncanf
Cduncanf

What an inspiration.

NomonK
NomonK

Slow SALUTE to honor a man of uniform Service. God's Speed.

JAIL_OFFICER_RCJ
JAIL_OFFICER_RCJ

Thank you for your service sir.

LEO0301
LEO0301

God bless him. I can't imagine spending 74 years on the job.

K-9 319
K-9 319

God bless, and thank you for your service. Hope 75 is in your future brother.

wallywoo3
wallywoo3

God Bless you Deputy Hardin...you are an inspiration....Thank you sir for your service...

10182bluelives
10182bluelives

You are an inspiration to every officer, God Bless

vwiles34
vwiles34

God Speed Deputy Hardin, Thank you for your long service. May you reach that 75yr mark and well beyond. You're a true inspiration.

Stoykens Keptyc
Stoykens Keptyc

#GoodWhite article

Schick56
Schick56

Hurry up number 75, retire and enjoy yourself. We'll hold the blue line from here!

BorgerBoy
BorgerBoy

You, sir, are a true American legend, inspiration and hero! Thank you for an exceedingly extraordinary career, so far, and thank you for you unwavering devotion to your oath of office! I salute you!!

BLUEALWAYS
BLUEALWAYS

My opinion, RIDICULOUS !!!!!! Retire and enjoy your life.

krtx201
krtx201

Thank you for all those years and praying blessings over the coming ones. Our world is much better because of men like you.

User 69
User 69

Thx God Bless. Wonderful job. Thx

Siroadrunner
Siroadrunner

Sincere salute to you, may God keep you safe!!...Thank you for your long service!!

cops-kid
cops-kid

And I thought my dad’s 50 years on the job was an incredible achievement !!! Wow 🤩 I have got to meet this DEPUTY !!!

Ashmank
Ashmank

Thank you for your service. I am also still on the job after 38 years. Now serving in my third agency.

MamaD79
MamaD79

WOW! Thank you for your service Sir, I absolutely loved reading your story! God Bless you and each and every one of our LEO's out there protecting us! It would be such an honor to meet you!

DR226
DR226

Thank you for your service Deputy Harden.

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

He’s Superman!!!

Lt. B.White
Lt. B.White

Congratulations and thank you for your service

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Congrats deputy Hardin!!! Keep working until they throw you out. If you love what you do, there is no shame at all in waking up every day and happily going to work

jowenspd
jowenspd

Thank you and stay safe!

KitsKid
KitsKid

Congratulations on your long career! You do Texas proud. If you're doing a job you love it's not work it's fun. I can see you love what you do. 75 years is a lofty goal I sincerely pray you make it without any problems. God speed Deputy Hardin!

convertibleguy23
convertibleguy23

Absolutely amazing

MDF
MDF

Deputy Hardin, God Bless you for your service to your community, our State and the people of Texas!

sgtmacD
sgtmacD

My son, Det. Stephen McDonald was invited to Attend and Speak at the Texas Narcotic Officers convention a few years before his passing, I accompanied him. While there we met Sheriff Hardin, who shares his Birthday with Stephen, March 1st. He was very cordial and knowledgeable about his work. Stephen(and I) were much impressed with his stories, he looked every bit what you would expect a Texas lawman would look, ramrod straight with a presence. Glad he's still with us.

sgtmacD
sgtmacD

I neglected to add that my son And I were members of the NYPD, I had retired.

JohnPollastro
JohnPollastro

Thank you for your lifetime service!

Chip Besterd
Chip Besterd

He's lucky that he never worked under KEN BERTRAM and JANA GREEN, managers at DuPont Valley View! They were faced with a 67 year old worker, there for 22 years, who had chosen to work a few more years in order to be better financially prepared for retirement. That did not sit well with KEN and JANA! They colluded in a SHAM "investigation", on a PRETEXT of him having violated DuPont Core Values, in which the INNOCENT employee was targeted, framed, smeared, and terminated! NO lie lasts forever, not even YOURS, KEN BERTRAM and JANA GREEN!


News

FEATURED
COMMUNITY