New Rockford police officers say they're prepared to protect the - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

New Rockford police officers say they're prepared to protect their community

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

For Nathaniel Brass, a job as a police officer runs in the family. 

"I'm following in my dad's foot steps, my grandpa was the chief of police in Rochelle for 17 years he's (Brass's dad) been here for 25," he says. 

That makes brass the third generation officer in his family. But, he isn't the only one celebrating. 

"It was a long journey, but it seemed to go very quickly," David Hopkins, retired deputy chief says.   

David Hopkins retired  after serving 33 years on the Rockford Police Department working his way up to deputy chief. 

But while the department is celebrating these moments, they are also cherishing them. That's because not every day on the job is filled with as much joy. 

Today's ceremony comes on the heels of several events to honor fallen Rockford Officer Jaimie Cox both in Springfield and in our nation's capital. 

"To have an officer injured or killed during your duty watch is the most horrific thing to ever happen," Hopkins says. "We realize that sometimes it does, but one of the things that comes back to me is you're never forgotten."

That same heartbreak is one Brass has seen his dad and grandfather endure, but he remains confident this career choice is the right one for him. 

"I've known it my whole life," he says. "I saw everything from everything so I've seen him come home and we've talked about it. So, I'm prepared to take on what ever the job has to offer."
 

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