The tribute given to the Hardin family at the Dec. 13 Harvey City Council meeting was bittersweet, but hope was found in the eyes of a 5-year-old.
The youth was Tyrone Hardin Jr., whose father, Tyrone Hardin, 38, of was shot and killed on Nov. 26, while working as a security guard at Canadian National Railroad depot in Harvey at the time. Harvey police were pursuing Rashad Williams, 24, who was allegedly driving a stolen car when he encountered Hardin.
Williams was charged with first-degree murder and second-degree murder in connection with another railroad employee after being arrested in connection with the incident on Dec. 3 in Chicago Heights.
Despite the arrest the family is still healing and the victim’s wife, Gwinette Oliver-Hardin, and members of her family looked on as her son took a step toward being the man his father would have wanted him to be. Harvey Deputy Police Chief Gregory Thomas said he had heard that the young Hardin wanted to be a police officer so the village planted a seed.
At the Dec. 12 Harvey City Council meeting, Tyrone Hardin Jr. was given a police uniform to put on at the meeting and was officially sworn in as a “police officer for the day.” He will officially report for duty at the police department on Dec. 27.
“It was wonderful,” Oliver-Hardin said. “I was crying, but it was tears of joy because his dad would have been so proud of him.”
Since being sworn in she says her son hasn’t stopped talking about his new position.
“His school called me today because they told him he was a police officer and he had to go to work next week,” she said. “He’s been telling his big brothers and sisters that he’s a policeman now and if they don’t listen to him he told them he is going to lock them up.”
She said the city council and police department’s gesture has helped her get through the mourning process, but the impact her husband had on her and the family will be hard to replace.
Besides Tyrone Jr. they had other children and shared parenting duties because while her husband worked during the day, she worked at night. She said she will miss the text messages and phone conversations they would exchange when one or the other was at work.
“It will be the little things that I will miss,” she said. “I guess I will have to take it one day at a time.”
Christmas gifts were also presented to the family from Gloria J. Taylor Foundation, social service organization based in the city.
Police detectives with Harvey Police Department were also recognized by the city council and police brass for their hard work in tracking down and arresting the alleged shooter.
“Not only did they do an excellent job, but the evidence they secured was tight,” said Harvey Police Chief Denard Eaves.
— Son of slain security guard honored by Harvey as ‘officer for a day’ —