Patrol Sergeant with Miller County Sheriff’s Office
Sgt. Phillip Hardemon has been with the Miller County Sheriff’s office for 20 years and currently serves as Patrol Sergeant. “Ever since I was a kid carrying around my toy gun and badge everywhere I went, I’ve felt like I wanted to go into law enforcement,” Hardemon says.
The most rewarding aspect of Hardemon’s job is the opportunity to build relationships with the citizens in this community. “It’s great to see how kids’ eyes light up when they see you in uniform and tell you they want to be a police officer,” Hardemon says. “The best part of the job is knowing that I’m making a difference.”
To Hardemon, the most challenging part of the job comes when law enforcement officers have to make important decisions in the moment. Out of all of his duties, Hardemon says that his most critical task is making sure all his deputies go home at the end of the day. “We know that our decisions could affect the rest of a person’s life,” Hardemon says. “But, we can overcome this challenge and gain confidence with training and experience.”
In the future, Hardemon hopes that relationships and trust will strengthen between law enforcement and the communities they seek to protect. “I wish citizens wouldn’t base their opinion regarding proper police conduct using only a short video posted to social media,” Hardemon says. “It causes more people to distrust law enforcement as a whole.”
When Hardemon is working with community members, he says it’s important to remember to treat everyone with dignity, “If you show people respect, they will show it back, more often than not,” Hardemon says. “Officers should treat everyone like human beings, listen, and show concern.”