Texas boy connecting with law enforcement worldwide - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Texas boy connecting with law enforcement worldwide

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HERMISTON, OR.-- Brandon Winans hasn't always loved to be out and about in his hometown of Bridgeport, Texas. His mother, Misty, says that the eleven-year-old is autistic, and that, until recently, just getting him out of the house was a tough ask. 

But, when Brandon was out with his mother, one thing stayed the same: he always asked her to stop and say hello if he saw a police officer. Brandon has a love for law enforcement. Earlier this year, while touring around the local police station, the station chief gave him a police badge. From there, his admiration exploded.

"He loved that patch so much," Misty Winans told KNDU, "He had me put it on the wall beside his bed so he could see it every night before he went to sleep." 

However, Brandon decided that one patch wasn't enough, and he set out to collect as many as he could. 

Eventually, word of Brandon's quest reached a law enforcement Facebook Page, and the envelopes containing patches, challenge coins, and letters began pouring in. As we learned this week, one of those envelopes came from the Hermiston Police Department, thanks to Sgt. Bryan Maess. 

Sgt. Maess said that he was proud that Brandon was "backing the blue", and that sending the envelope was a no-brainer. 

"What amazed me," said Sgt. Maess, "Was such a small gesture of kindness can make such a large impact on somebody, like it did on Brandon."

Including his patch from Hermiston, Brandon has now collected 401 patches overall, some coming from as far as Canada and New Zealand. 

With the happiness he's found in this new hobby, Misty says that she sees a new side of her son. 

"All of a sudden," she told KNDU, "He wants to do everything!"