A little boy in Jacksonville, Arkansas, decided to go as his best friend and hero Wednesday for his school’s Dress As Your Favorite Person Day.
When 5-year-old Easton Blocker met Security Officer Jeffery Cross at the beginning of the school year, the two began forming a special bond, according to THV11.
“From day one, he has always had a fascination with Officer Cross,” explained Easton’s mom, Lauryn.
This week, she had a yellow T-shirt made for him that had a badge on the front and the words “Junior Security” printed across the back.
Wednesday, the Jacksonville North Pulaski School District shared photos of the matching buddies at Bobby G. Lester Elementary School on its Facebook page.
“That shirt is probably going to stick with him forever. It means a lot to him,” Lauryn commented.
This is the first school year the district has had armed security guards keeping watch over the children who come to class each week.
Officer Cross is one of the ten officers who carry a weapon, according to Fox 16.
“It’s necessary now, we don’t really have a choice anymore. We have to do this to make sure we can keep our scholars and our staff safe,” said Director of Security Chris Oldham, who is a former law enforcement officer.
Wednesday, reporter Melissa Zygowicz shared photos of Easton and his favorite person to her Facebook page.
At the beginning of the year, the children were curious as to why Officer Cross wore a gun on his hip.
“They had questions about why I was armed and I was just telling them, ‘I’m armed to protect them from someone bad who would come and hurt them,'” he recalled.
Lauryn said her son tells her every day that Officer Cross keeps him and his friends safe from the “bad guys.”
“It’s reassuring,” she noted, adding that the love her little boy has for his hero is overwhelming.
“Just for the fact that he shows his appreciation and he hugs me every day when he sees me every morning. It really makes my day,” Officer Cross concluded.