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Rest in Peace: Texas Sheriff's Deputy and longest serving peace officer in the world passes away

Deputy Bill Hardin of the Johnson County Sheriff's Office passed away at the age of 99 after a 75 year career in law enforcement.
Credit: Johnson County Sheriff's Office
A picture of Bill Hardin, the longest serving peace officer in the world, in his Johnson County Sheriff's uniform

JOHNSON COUNTY, Texas — The Johnson County Sheriff's Department and Texas law enforcement community are mourning the loss of one of their own.

In a touching Facebook post, the Johnson County Sheriff's Department announced the passing of Deputy Bill Hardin at the age of 99, surrounded by friends and loved ones.

Deputy Hardin was more than a longtime member of the force however, he was also the oldest and longest serving peace officer in the world.

Beginning his career in 1947, Hardin joined the Fort Worth Police Department at the age of 22 after already having served in World War II. During his career, he also worked for the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office before joining the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, where he remained a proud Deputy for the past 28 years.

"Bill was a true living legend," the Department said in the Facebook post, "The oldest and longest running Peace Officer in the world. But more than that he was our brother and our friend. Bill never failed to share his knowledge with our new deputies and was always ready with a handshake and a smile."

Over the course of his long career, Hardin reportedly did everything from traffic enforcement to homicide and narcotics investigations to guarding the grave of Lee Harvey Oswald.

"Rest easy Bill," closed the department, "We will take the watch from here."

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