LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. — In Loudon County, there's a new officer patrolling Pre-K, and he's only 4 years old. The top cop at his elementary school is the leader he looks up to most.
Inside a preschool class at Loudon Elementary, every student dreams of what they want to be when they grow up. Some exclaim professions like firefighter, teacher, doctor and fairy. However, Beckett Mills doesn't just know what he dreams to be — he dresses up for the job every day.
"I want to be a cop," Mills said, while decked out from head to toe in a pint-sized police uniform.
His teacher says Mills wears the outfit to school almost every day. His parents confirmed it, saying it's hard to get him to wear something else. His role model wears the same thing to work every day.
Officer Mike Williams isn't just a school resource officer. He's a friend. He regularly takes Mills on patrols through the halls, talking and laughing the whole way.
Williams is the one who bought the tiny uniform for Mills as a Christmas present.
"He kept saying, 'I would like to have a uniform,' and we don't have any that small at the sheriff's office, so I ordered one on Amazon," Williams said.
Even with his full plate, he's a constant character for the kids. He often challenges them to matches of "rock, paper, scissors" or arm wrestling.
"He is a very popular guy around here," Principal Christie Amburn said.
He said he makes every kid feel wanted and appreciated because he cares.
"I love every one of these kids, they keep me going," Williams said. "I just hope that I'm one person that can make a difference in one of their lives."
He's already left his print on Mills.
"There's some of the students you get more attached to. I guess he's definitely one of those," Williams said. "We talk a lot throughout the day, and he's just my little buddy, my little partner."
He's said he's not only inspiring a love of law enforcement but also creating a bond beyond the badge.
"You can be anything you want to be," Williams said. "You've got a whole life ahead of you."
While he's still in school, this pre-k cop will stay in step with this special SRO.
Williams has been in law enforcement for over 35 years. He says he will continue keeping the school safe, for as long as he's able.