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Officer creates T-shirt to fight against stereotypes in law enforcement

Officer: ‘The whole idea behind the concept is to change the mindsets of people’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A local police officer went viral after creating a way to put an end to stereotypes.

Officer Terrance Hightower decided to create his own T-shirt to fight against stereotypes in law enforcement. The shirt says, “I define my uniform.”

“The whole idea behind the concept is to change the mindsets of people, be able to hold someone accountable for their actions and what they do, not put everybody in one big group,” Hightower said.

Hundreds of the T-shirts are now showing up on social media -- 500 people are wearing the shirt.

“I’m surprised,” Hightower said. “It blew up overnight.”

The idea that started as an idea for a couple of his friends has branched out to firefighters, teachers, doctors and anyone wearing a uniform.

If he looks familiar, Hightower is the same officer that bought new tires for a man riding a broken bike in 2017. Hightower has been a Jacksonville Sheriff’s officer for 26 years. He lives serving his community.

This time, he’s reaching hundreds, even thousands, as each person post the bright colored shirt, defining their uniform.

Hightower hopes this sheds light on how everyone can play a role in making the world a better place.

“It’s everybody, anybody,” Hightower said. “It started off as just a police officer idea, and then I had to take a step back and realize it’s about everybody. Everybody should be held accountable for what they do. Don’t put everybody in one group.”

Hightower said he’s overwhelmed by the support. This will be a memorable year for him. He plans to retire in December.

To learn more about the T-shirt, click here.


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