Tennessee boy helps direct traffic, forms bond with police officer

NEWPORT, TN (WATE) – A little boy in Tennessee is brightening the days of drivers at Newport Grammar School.

Four-year old Sawyer Schimming’s mother, Allison Schimming, says he loves playing police officer. He got the costume last Halloween and wears it at least once a day, “I think it’s the most adorable thing.”

“I had a lot of training,” said Sawyer.

The four-year old has formed a special bond with Sgt. Justin Vinson who actually directs traffic every day.

“He’s my little partner. Just one day a few weeks ago he just showed up on the corner of his yard here and started motioning traffic and helping me,” said Vinson.

Sawyer takes his responsibilities very seriously by telling people to slow down.

“To watch the parents come by just smiling and laughing and the kids just seeing it as well, I mean, it’s something good,” added Sgt. Vinson.

There’s a good reason Sawyer directs traffic everyday, “When they’re driving, they can get their kids back home safely.”

Schimming says Sawyer has added his own equipment to the costume, including hat, sunglasses, handcuffs, toy gun and even a safety vest after seeing Sgt. Vinson wear one.

“I’ve asked him, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And it’s a police officer and sometimes he’ll say on his days off he will drive a dump truck,” said Schimming.

For Sgt. Vinson, hearing that his partner wants to be just like him.

“That’s the reason I do what I do. Each one of these kids are like my own,” he said.

Sgt. Vinson wears badge 542 with the Newport Police Department and says Sawyer is badge 542 and a half. After Sawyer’s first shift outside Newport Grammar, his mom says he came inside asking to be called Officer Vinson.

When asked if Sawyer will have a spot on the Newport Police Department when he gets a little bigger, officers say absolutely.

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