Sheriff helps local teen collect state-wide uniform patches

ELKHART, Ind. --- A local teen, with a passion for law enforcement, is hoping to collect a uniform patch from each agency around the state of Indiana.

It is a rare opportunity to receive one police agency patch, let alone more than 70.

“I was like ‘Wow, I wasn’t really ever expecting that to happen,’” Tyler Kidder said, who lives in Goshen.

It all started with a patch gifted to 16-year-old Tyler Kidder by his high school bus driver.

That is when the resource officer from his school challenged Kidder to collect a patch from each agency around the state in order to receive one of his.

“I just really have an interest in police and law enforcement and stuff,” Kidder said.

Kidder sent letters with a hand-written signature to seal the deal to each agency in January.

About a week later, the patches started to pour in. Kidder received approximately 20 patches in the mail.

“He was pretty excited every time one came in,” Kendra Kidder said, Tyler’s mother.

All of a sudden—the patches stopped coming, but what Kidder did not know was that Elkhart County Sheriff Jeff Siegel had personally started collecting the patches to surprise Kidder in person at school.

“He had collected over 50 of these for me and I got pencils, pens, challenge coins,” Tyler Kidder said. “I was really excited when I got that and it meant a lot to me.”

Kidder now has 71 patches and he is hoping for more to build his collection and make a special quilt.

“And then we will put them in order of the counties like the state of Indiana and then draw the outline of the state around it, so kind of have it like the state of Indiana quilt,” Kendra Kidder said.

Kidder said the canine patch is his favorite, but since he is still nearly 20 patches short, there is a possibility that could change.

Kidder is hopeful that he will receive more in the mail so that he can start working on the Indiana-shaped quilt.

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