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ESSEX COUNTY. Va. -- A veteran deputy is earning praise for spending some time with a group of children in Tappahannock on Thursday.

Janice Morris said the group of kids spotted her son, Deputy Robert Morris with the Essex County Sheriff's Office, while he was on patrol at the Fox Chase Apartments.

“When you’re on patrol and you see kids running toward you smiling, you take the time and spend a few minutes with them,” Janice Morris wrote.

Sheriff Stanley S. Clarke said Morris stopped to say hi and even gave the little ones a tour of his squad car.

Clarke said his deputies are always striving to help and protect children.

Janice Morris said she submitted the photo to shine the spotlight on the work men and women in law enforcement do every day.

"This is something positive for people to see," she wrote. "He has been through a lot and still stands tall."

Additionally, Mrs. Morris said her son knew he wanted to be a police officer since he was just five years old. She said he has now been in law enforcement for 20 years.

Deputy Morris grew up in nearby Warsaw in Richmond County where the family still resides, Mrs. Morris said.