LIMA — Law enforcement runs in many families, but the Mortimers take it to another level.
Identical twins Zachary and Jacob serve as officers; the former with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office and his brother on the Lima Police force.
What’s more, Jacob now wears badge No. 37 – once worn by his late grandfather, Dennis Maier Sr., who also worked for the LPD. Major Jim Baker surprised the Mortimer brothers and their mother, Teresa, during Jacob’s swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 12, when he was presented with the recycled badge of honor.
“I can certainly say I wasn’t expecting to receive it,” Jacob said. “It’s a huge honor to have it. I hope to carry its weight the same way he did.”
Denny Maier Jr. had discreetly helped Baker in time for the Jan. 12 formality.
Zachary, who was sworn in at the sheriff’s office on Dec. 22, asserted it was “cool” that Jacob was the recipient.
“I figured out quickly our grandpa was a respected officer,” Zachary said of Maier. “I think it’s awesome.”
Their mom Teresa was overwhelmed by Baker’s thoughtful gesture.
“I couldn’t believe everybody went above and beyond to such lengths,” Teresa said, adding that she bawled during Jacob’s ceremony. “I couldn’t be prouder of my sons.”
Maier Sr. retired from the LPD in 1981 but returned to work for the sheriff’s office circa 2002.
The twins began their careers with the Cridersville Police Dept. before going their separate ways. “My ending up with the (Allen County) sheriff’s office is just the way it played out,” Zachary said.
Law enforcement isn’t the only thing the brothers, who are 21, have in common: Teresa said her sons both have Chron’s disease, which affects their digestive tracts.
“They couldn’t serve in the military because of it,” she explained. “My boys have been through a lot.”
Reach James Luksic at 567-242-0399.