Every day, police officers put their lives on the line. Like all first responders, they run into danger instead of away from it.
Since 1791, approximately 20,000 officers have made the ultimate sacrifice, losing their lives in the line of duty. According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, as of June 30 of this year, 65 federal, state, and local officers have died while on duty, a 30 percent increase from this time last year when 50 officers had lost their lives.
This preliminary data doesn’t include a detective from Georgia who lost her life on September 29. Kristen Hearne was a five-year veteran of the force. She was killed by a man with outstanding warrants while investigating a stolen vehicle.
Detective Hearne was also a mother of a young son. She worked as a jailer in Floyd County before moving back to Polk County where, sadly, she became the first officer to die while working for that county.
Oddly enough, the day before her death, Hearne discussed a grave concern she had while having a conversation with her mother. Hearne worried about what would become of her son if anything were to happen to her.
“She talked to me Thursday afternoon. About Isaac,” her mom, Trish Brewer, said. “She said, if anything happened to her, please take care of my baby. I said ‘Kristen, don’t talk this junk to me. There’s nobody who could replace you.’”
Indeed, no one can take the place of a mother. Unfortunately, Isaac will have to grow up without his, but he won’t be without his memories of her.
Thanks to one remarkable little boy, Hearne’s legacy will continue. Three-year-old Cohen Chastain from Rockmart, Georgia, made sure the fallen detective received the respect she deserved.
During a funeral procession held in Detective Hearne’s honor, Cohen saluted and stood at attention for over two hours.
Touched by his poignant show of respect, the Floyd County Police Department named Cohen an Honorary Deputy.
“Many of you might recall this amazing three-year-old,” the police department wrote on their Facebook page. “Cohen stood for more than two hours during the processional honoring our sister, Det. Kristen Hearne.”
During the ceremony, Cohen wore a police officer costume with padded muscles. He was gifted a custom-built Power Wheels SUV with the Floyd County Sherrif’s Office insignia emblazoned on the car’s door and a sticker with “Deputy Cohen” placed on the windshield.
“We wanted to bless Cohen for his selfless act of support and love, BUT, ONCE AGAIN, we were blessed by him beyond measure,” the Floyd PD wrote. “God bless you abundantly and keep you safe Cohen! #nowords”
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