Blog & Media Releases

Mr. Hart Collected Police Patches and Sent To Indiana Boy Battling Cancer

by Angie Filian | Dec 27, 2018

The Lee County Tax Collector’s Office strives to give back to the community in any way possible, including those outside of Lee County. Recently, one of our employees sent us a heart-warming story about a young boy battling cancer hoping to collect hundreds of police patches from across the county and, of course, Mr. Hart wanted to help!

Jeremiah Derks is a 12-year-old boy from Kokomo, Indiana, who was diagnosed with cancer in July 2018. He is currently going through chemotherapy and had surgery in October. During this difficult time in his life, Jeremiah has become very fond of law enforcement. What started as a little visit and support from local authorities lead to the excitement of them making Jeremiah an honorary deputy of their department. But, it was a visit from a Kokomo police officer dropping off a police patch at Jeremiah’s home that sparked the idea of collecting badges.


Once Mr. Hart caught wind of the touching story, he immediately wanted to help. Having served in law enforcement for 22 years and as former Police Chief for the City of Fort Myers, Mr. Hart reached out to his contacts all over the county in hopes of helping Jeremiah in his endeavor. It’s his dedication and commitment to serving others that helped Mr. Hart collect more than 20 patches for Jeremiah!


Since receiving his initial patch, Jeremiah has received countless badges from all over the world, including the 20 from Mr. Hart. Now, Jeremiah says he would like to become a police officer one day. Learn more about this incredible story, here.