PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office has sworn in its newest deputy, five-year-old Sophia Richards.

At an early age, Sophia began showing her appreciation for first responders.

“We were driving around and any time she would see a police car she would say hey mommy look, police officers,” said Veronicah Richards, Sophia’s mother.

Whether it’s police, or a Central Illinois sheriff’s office, Sophia said she has their back because they have hers.

“They keep all the people safe in the whole world,” Sophia said.

She also takes her support for law enforcement the extra mile. Over the last 2 years or so, Sophia has visited departments across the region, delivering treats and a smile.

“We’re very happy to be able to bring joy to them and have them know that no matter what you hear out there, there’s many of us who are for you,” Veronicah Richards said.

Peoria County Sheriff Chris Watkins said Sophia has been part of their work family for just over a year.

“She’s our biggest fan, so we really appreciate that,” Watkins said.

Sheriff Watkins said one of his priorities when running for Sheriff was show to show Sophia the same support she’s shown deputies. That happened Tuesday with a special ceremony.

“One of the first things to do was promote her to junior deputy and so I was very excited to do that,” Watkins said.

With the new title of junior deputy, Sophia said she has one goal.

“Keep everybody safe,” Sophia said.

Watkins said it’s his goal to have more Junior Deputy swear-ins in the near future.