56°F
Sponsored by

Thirteen Retire From Springfield Police Department

The Springfield Police Department is losing 13 longtime officers within the next month and a half. It's a big change for these officers parting with a career they love, and it is also a big change for the community.
The Springfield Police Department is losing 13 longtime officers within the next month and a half.  There was a retirement ceremony held today, to honor the officers' 20 to 25 years of dedication.

Chief Paul Williams with the Springfield Police Department says it is unusual that this large of a group steps away all at once.  It's a big change for these officers parting with a career they love, and it is also a big change for the community.  Afterall, the department is losing years of experience, and will temporarily operate with fewer staff members.

Tomorrow is Officer Shook's 25th anniversary with the Springfield Police Department.  "I've been doing this for half my life," adds Shook.
 
It is also his last day in his police car.  "I've enjoyed every day.  It's rare that people can say they enjoy their job for 25 years!  I do enjoy helping the community.  I also enjoy catching criminals," says Shook.

Officer Shook says this was his calling in life.  "I'm a Christian so I prayed about it and the Lord impressed upon me that this is what he wanted me to do.  From then on I didn't have any questions, and it's been a good time," he explains.

The Springfield Police Department will have to operate without the experience of Officer Shook and 12 of his fellow co-workers.  "Dennis Shook is a patrol officer.  He's been here 25 years and to me is the epitome of what a police officer should be," remarks Chief Williams. 

Williams speaks just as highly of the other 12 retirees.  "Every officer who retires and puts in 20 or 25 years has made a significant impact in this community," he says.

One factor in these officers' decision to leave the department is that their pension caps at 25 years of service and it doesn't grow anymore after that.

The veterans play a huge role in keeping our community safe.  "Without people with experience you'd be out here running blind," says Shook.  Surely, their absence won't go unnoticed.  "That is where the community is going to feel the impact, unfortunately, in the lack of available personnel.  And not being able to do some things you want to do ... respond as quickly to some things as we'd like to respond to," explains Williams.

There are currently 26 students training in the police academy.  Chief Williams says these students will not be ready to fill the retiree's positions for another nine months.  He says the department is working on a solution for a smoother transition in the future.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus