70-year veteran cop to young cops: 'Watch your back'

"I don’t understand why … every time you get out on the street, you’re a target"

By PoliceOne Staff

FORT WORTH, Texas — A 70-year law enforcement veteran has words of advice for young officers: Watch your back when you’re on the street.

Deputy Bill Hardin, who turns 94 in March, said he’s learned from his years in law enforcement that it doesn’t matter who’s inside the uniform; the uniform is the only thing people see. 

“I don’t understand why … every time you get out on the street, you’re a target,” Hardin told CBS DFW. 

Hardin spent 40 years with the Fort Worth Police Department. He also spent eight years with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department. Now, he serves as a Johnson County sheriff’s deputy - where he’s worked for 24 years.

According to the news station, Hardin is the oldest officer in Texas and has been on the force longer than any other cop. 

“As long as I can make a contribution, how little or how much, it makes me feel good,” he told the publication. 

He said that despite being confronted and threatened by suspects multiple times, he’s never fired his service revolver. 

Although he hasn’t set on a date, Hardin is looking to retire soon. But wants to offer advice to young officers who are facing dangers he didn’t experience when he began. 

“All I’d say is, watch your back.”

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