LEBANON, Tenn. (WZTV / CNN) -- It’s a turbulent time for many law enforcement officers across the country, but a Middle Tennessee boy with big dreams of becoming a cop is hoping to spread respect to police, one hug at a time.
It’s a turbulent time for many law enforcement officers across the country, but a Middle Tennessee boy with big dreams of becoming a cop is hoping to spread respect to police, one hug at a time. Courtesy: WZTV / CNN
The movement is called #HugACop.
Five-year-old Foster Routzahn eats, sleeps and breathes everything related to law enforcement.
He dresses like an officer: aviators, ball cap, tiny SWAT vest and even a pretend badge.
"Because I just love police, I'm dressed up like one every single day,” Foster said.
He even acts out pretend training scenarios.
"I just want to be a police when I grow up because they're so awesome,” Foster said.
But until he’s old enough to join the force, he’s showing respect and admiration for law enforcement with lots and lots of hugs.
Foster’s #HugACop project started Sunday when a few Mt. Juliet police officers spotted him in his small SWAT vest at the Providence Marketplace, and continued Monday at police headquarters.
"Sometimes it seems like the negative opinions or the negative voices are so much louder than the positive ones,” Officer Paul Foutch said. “It's just nice to have an interaction like that with a young man who's so excited."
It’s an excitement that Foster’s parents hope can spark some change.
"If there's anything good that comes out of all of this, and I do believe that there's good to be had, I hope that people will start teaching their kids to go up to cops and officers and anybody that serves: give them a hug, give them a handshake, thank them for their service every single time,” Foster’s mother, Jessica Routzahn said.
Foster’s parents aren’t in law enforcement, but his great uncle served as a chaplain in Maryland.