Inspiring 815: Rock House Officers

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Rockford (WREX) — You’ve probably seen a video circulating throughout the stateline area of Rockford Police Officer Eric Thurmond dancing.

“I like to dance, and it’s not just for the camera. If you see me out and about, I’m always dancing in the uniform and out the uniform.” said Thurmond.

While Eric says dancing and interacting with kids is just who he is, it’s also a part of his job as a Rockford Police Officer.

“It breaks that barrier with the kids”, says Thurmond, “kids will kind of look at you crazy, and then you’ll do a weird dance move that they do, or sing a song they know, and then they’ll be like ‘oh, ok he’s kind of cool’.”

What you might not know, is that he has a partner, Patrice Turner.

“That’s how he connects with the kids. I think it’s great, the kids love it. But can you imagine me, a grandma, trying to do the floss and the shoop shoop? I’ll leave that to Eric.” said Turner.

Patrice says she has a bit of a different policing style compared to Eric.

“We’re very opposite of each other, which makes a whole, you know. I’m much older than he is, he’s like the age of my kids. So, his policing style and my policing style makes a whole.” said Turner.

However, the two make a great pair, immersing themselves into the community to show that police officers aren’t all bad.

“It shouldn’t be people see the police and they’re flicking us off, or having something negative to say because they see what is going on. I want them to come to us as friends, we’re their neighbors.” said Thurmond.

Rock House officers, inspiring 815, one neighborhood at a time

Nicole Stein

Nicole Stein

Morning News Anchor

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