Twenty four years ago I made the choice to change careers and become a police officer mostly due to the realization that with my sense of humor and personality it was best that I carry a gun. After completing the academy I took a part time job in Ohio and began applying across the U.S. I was offered a job at the Cape Coral Police Department in Florida and made the move. I once again entered the police academy and some months later completed field training. I remember my first rotation on nights thinking to myself, “What the hell have you done?”
I have worked in different positions during my time with the police department, patrol, youth crime, digital forensics, and in administrative services responsible for database administration and development. For 22 years I always looked at retiring from the PD like winning the lottery, there are winners, but it will most likely never be me. I was always dumfounded as to why some who left talked about it being such a tough choice. I mean really?!?!
After a great deal of thought and reflection I realized that it is time to slow down. Over the past year I have co-authored two books, did technical review for two others, travelled over 100,000 miles speaking and teaching, all while working for the department. I quickly realized how difficult it was to even consider retiring from a place that I have spent literally half of my life at. The struggle goes beyond leaving my “comfort” zone, or no longer being a police officer, as ANYONE at CCPD will tell you I have not been on the road in 10 years and am more like TripleA with a gun.
For 22 years I have worked with an amazing group of people who are more like a family than coworkers. I have been fortunate that in my current position I have been exposed to most every department in the city and it always impresses me at the talent and leadership that I see. I frequently read the local comments in our media and it irritates me to see remarks about city employees being unqualified. Over the past 8 years I have worked with organizations throughout the world and still have yet to find one that has the aptitude and work ethic of our city employees.
It is not the job that I will miss, or the office, or the badge, well… maybe the badge a little J, but the people. I will miss the friendship and the loyalty of everyone within public safety as well as being associated with such a premiere agency. There is no way to thank everyone enough for all of the well wishes by emails, calls, tweets, and posts.
My official last day will be October 26th, but I will be staying one for one year to complete all of the open projects, wasn’t quite ready to cut and run altogether.
Thank you to my @CapePD and @CapePIOfamily.