"I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement." ~Calvin Coolidge

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A final farewell to J257...

Well the ride is over for me as a police officer. I've worked my final day with my department. It was a very emotional day for me that was compounded by court hearings with the bitch the day before that absolutely left me exhausted; that will definitely be my next post. I may not be able to respond to comments or post after Friday for a few days as I have to turn in all of my gear by Friday. Until I can get my own laptop I will be working off of Aza’s. So let me tell you how my last shift on the street went…

I had a special ceremony that was hosted by our Sheriff at 9am. It was very nice with 12 officers and supervisors attending as future retirees. The Sheriff was touched and commented that he could hire new recruits, dispatchers, civilian employees and other personnel but he could never replace 455 years of experience that was leaving his department. That made a very big impact on me and set things in perspective.

After the ceremony I had a whole host of signatures that was needed to complete a small portion of the exit report. I was able to obtain most of those signatures, but still some are needed and will be done today since I have to turn in all of my uniforms etc…

At 3pm my sub station had a party for me that at least 100 people showed up for. I was basically the brunt of a mini roast that went on and on. It was very touching to see people that I have trained over the years talk about me as if they were giving a eulogy. It was emotional as I spoke to my family, for who knows, maybe the last time? I sat and listened as they were talking of the things they were going to do when they got back to work. The people that they wanted to hunt down so they could put them in jail. I sat and reflected on all the fun that I had with each individual officer and just couldn’t believe that the ride was over.

Aza was of course there to capture all of the memories of my last day with photographs. I laughed, cried and felt completely separated at times from the people that I fought with and laid my life on the line with everyday. I found myself sitting there in complete disbelief that it was really almost over.

Aza was absolutely phenomenal in this entire final few days of life as I know it. She allowed me to break down when I needed to and get a little frustrated when I needed to. I was so appreciative that she has been there for me, but really I would never have expected anything else from her. I just don’t know what I would have done without her during such an emotional time.

After the party I went out and had dinner with Aza and her dad who also had been very supportive. She took me to get some Sushi which is without a doubt my favorite. I had a young community service officer come with us as well as another police officer who is a very dear friend of mine. We ate some awesome Sushi, told some lies and just relaxed for a few minutes.

After dinner I went out and handled a few calls at my leisure even telling the dispatcher that I didn’t feel like handling a particular call and to give me the other one that had just gone out. The zone got a kick out of that and was burning up my computer, phone and every other instrument they could use to get a hold of me.

The big finally for me was something that caused a breakdown of emotions. I sent out a voice dispatch at 0250 hrs which was 5 minutes early before I got off.

I said, “HQ, I don’t think I want to handle anymore calls. As a matter of fact, I think I am going to go ahead and just go home 5 minutes early! I’m out.

Well of course that sent my computer and phone ringing off the hook. I was bombarded with messages on the computer. The dispatcher sent me a message telling me not to sign off yet. I sat there waiting until I heard the alert tone go off twice alerting officers to pay attention, something important was going to be broadcasted. The dispatcher gave and unbelievable farewell on behalf of their division. Once again, chills raced down my spine and I was flooded with a ton of emotions that I just couldn’t hold back. She said the following…

All units in Zone 4, I have a very important announcement to make regarding J257, Officer ----------.

On behalf of the Communications Center and all of ------ employees, we want to thank you for all your hard work and dedication to the ---------- Sheriffs Office. In 26 years of service, your honesty, integrity, leadership, and excellence have been very well appreciated.

At 0255 hours on this day, June 26, 2008, you will go 10-82 for the last time as J257, #0000. You leave us with a lot of special memories and good times that will not be forgotten.

So from all of us to you, enjoy your retirement and the many wonderful years ahead. We’re going to miss you!

HQ is signing off now at 0255 hours. KJH224!!!

It was my final farewell and tribute to my 27 years of service to my department and the city. It was my final day as J257. I will never be a police officer again for my city. I know that this does not define me as a man, but it did define 27 years of my life that God was so kind to let me survive. The sad part about leaving for me is that I would never have signed up to retire but the soon to be Ex begged me, so I did. I didn’t and don’t want to leave but I did what I thought was right at the time. Now, she is trying to take all that away from me.

I have a little message for her, “Screw You!!! You don’t control me anymore! I will move on and enjoy my life. In fact, I think I will take Aza and play some golf with my friends tomorrow!!! Yea that’s right and I’m leaving my phone in the car!!!”

I’m Out And We’ll Talk Later!


Aza said...

*tears* I know it was hard, hon. It took everything I had to keep it together yesterday. I’ll never know what it’s like to walk through 27 years of life, every day of it willing to give that life for this city and its people. But I do know that I’m so incredibly proud of you and no matter where the road takes you, you’ve got a few companions for the journey. I wait with bated breath and joyful anticipation of what the next chapter brings. I love you!

Anonymous said...

you are amazing!!! Im glad you held it together yesterday, cuz no one else could have if you didn't... if you didn't notice, ash and i had to turn our backs for a sec while you were saying your thank you and goodbye... we didn't want to look like weaklings being the only two chicks in the room with tears...lol like AZA says above, it's all about the next chapter. yes this was your life for 27 years, but you have so much ahead of you. just another step, another door opening, another opportunity to be a happy man! its all for the best. you did your time and you did it wonderfully. by you moving on, it gives others an opportunity to become the next you. you have another door opening and you are opening another door for someone wiht the dream to be the po-lice! you are a wonderful man and a wonderful police officer, that will never change no matter where this life leads you. love and god bless. XOXOXO "your little rookie" k241

5150Wife said...

Good to "hear" from you; I was about to email you to see how you're holding up.

Congratulations on a fine career. Heck, congratulations on making it alive through that career.

Change is always scary, especially when it's not exactly the change you were wanting. But new and exciting things lay ahead for you, I know it. I just know it.

TheBronze said...

Congrats Theo! You've done well, and it's time to put your energies into something else. Don't look at this as a door closing, look at it as a door opening to something even better! But first, take some time off and enjoy your retirement for a little while. You've damned well earned that!

Be strong, it'll only get better.

Anonymous said...

J257 Job well done bro, we will keep fighting the good fight. Those you mentored will keep your legacy at that department going. And they will teach the new guys and girls the vital techniques that you taught them. You earned the tribute, enjoy the memories that the department and the job provided. Be safe and take care and we look forward to hearing more from you now that you got some time on your hands.

Will Tone said...

Kojak, while i'm across the country from you just reading about your last day and the tribute your dispatch gave you made me tear up a little. My parents are both approaching their retirements and I want to thank you for putting your life on the line for me and everyone else out there. I hope that one day I can do the same for you and everyone else.

Berserk said...

It may not have come down to what you wanted to do, but it is a nice note to go out on. Good luck with whatever is next.

Me said...

Thanks for a job well done. Now find a hobby and make sure that you keep busy for a bit, but never forget to have fun and enjoy life--you've earned it and we never know how much of it we've got left.

Evil Lunch Lady said...

That brought tears to my eyes! Wow! Good luck in your retirement! And hang on to your sweetheart, she's sound like a winner:)

Anonymous said...

We need more people like you, Kojak. Congratulations, now go have the time of your life with Aza! I'll be back to harrass later. :)

Lil Bit said...

Just poppin' over from Enforcer's to wish you well.

Happy Retirement! =)

Lyfers said...

Congrats! Congrats! Congrats!

Glad to hear the last day was just as good as icing on a really cheap cake (the good sugary kind)! Sounds like Aza's a winner, you two kids better go have some fun now that you're a free man...in more ways than one!! :-0

Enjoy the retirement, and stay away from hookers, even though now it doesnt conflict with work anymore, they are still not a good idea. :-O

Kojak said...

AzaAza. All I can say to you is I love You. I really am not sure I would be if it were not for you and Dad. You have given me my sense of direction back and my life. Thank You is just not enough. I love You.

Anonymous Sweety I will always be around close. When I first met you I knew instantly that we would be close. You are a wonderful person and even better friend. I look forward to this next step and have hopes that you will be right there with me. I love You!

5150wife Hey I am doing pretty good just trying to adjust. I am looking forward to a little time off to relax, play some golf etc. Thank You so much for taking the time to come over.

The bronze Bro thank you for the kind words as well as the phone call. It touched me that somebody that I have never met would take the time 2k miles away to call. You are a true friend. I really appreciate the thoughts.

enforcer104 Thank You. It was very touching to see the ones that I trained tell stories about what I taught them. It will be different but I am ready for the challenge. Thank You for stopping by.

willtone Thank You, I really hope and pray that your parents get through their retirement without a hitch. It means alot that you take the time to stop by. Thanks !

Berserk Thanks Bro , I am sure there is a plan. I do appreciate you coming by. Have a great weekend.

Me Yea I am already playing golf so thats a start. I am looking forward to having time off to just do whatever I want. It has been a long time. Thank You for coming over.

EvilLunchLady It was a very emotional day, but I made it through it. I plan on that for sure! Thank You and I hope all is going well for you!

Kvegas I am so glad to hear from you. I miss your blog. I know it will be ok for you just keep your held up high. You know the intentions of your heart and so do we.... Please stay in touch.

Lilbit Thank You very much I really appreciate it.

LyfersHey I promise I wont hook up with the ho's!! I am looking forward to some more good times with my absolute best friend! Thank You for stopping by!

Lisa J said...

Dear J257,
After reading your post I just wanted to tell you that you are one lucky guy. You are going to have a lot of emotions to come and it sounds as if you have a good person by your side helping you with it all. I just retired a year ago. In fact May 22, 2007 was my last day of work. Your co-workers were very kind to you, and the sound off was very touching to me so I know it meant a lot to you. I do not have good memories of my last day...no party, no going to lunch with anyone, no hand shaking good bye, NOTHING. There one day, gone the next. The only person that acknowlegded my existance was front records, four ladies, they made me a little cake, and gave me a really cute candle. They are special people. For the other 100 (!) officers said nothing, and did nothing. I was a very good officer, had many friends, but that is the way my department is. Sad, sad, sad. So as I am very happy for YOU, very happy, it just brings up those painful memories for me. But I am fine, I moved away, continued my life with my husband, and never looked back. The police officer in me will never go away, but I have decided to embark on a new stage of life. I have not read your posting on the divorce, but I have been there/done that too, and I just hope you can move on, find happiness and DO NOT let her (ex) define one more moment in your life. Take care fellow officer friend, God bless you, (as he certainly has watched over you!) and thank you for your years of service to your community. Job well done, job well done.
Very sincerely,
Officer L. Jobes


Congrats on your retirement..enjoy it to the fullest! You are awesome and don't let anyone, (especially the loony ex) tell you otherwise! I tagged you if you feel up to checking it out. If not, I understand.

Lisa J said...

Just checking in on you, hoping that things are going well. Take care, relax a little and before long you will not feel like it is just vacation time. It will have a new feel and I think you will like it. Enjoy the retirement.

Kojak said...

LisaJ Thank You so much for the beautiful words of encouragment. I am so sorry that you had an uneventful send off, but I know that you will be missed. I am looking forward to the off time, I do think I deserve it. I have worked since I was 15 yrs old. I will be heading to our court system in a few weeks to work as a sworn baliff so I will be back in a different saddle soon. I hope you stay in touch it means alot that you checked in on me. Have a great week.

DixiechickThank You so much. I really appreciate it. I will paticipate, but I just bought a new computer since I have to turn this one in. Be patient with me wont be long. Be careful, hope you have a great week.

brooklyngal said...

I think a line in your last post says it all:

"I may live in the ghetto (and I do) but I am the happiest I have ever been."

That's all that matters. Many congrats!!

Old NFO said...

Congrats! Thank you for your service! Best wishes going forward into a new life- Take time to smell the roses this go around!