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Discussion Starter #1
After 22 years and 8 months, I have come to my retirement day with the Arizona Department of Corrections. This was a decision that I made about a month ago after some issues at work threatened my ability to continue my employment, so instead I decided to go out on my terms. I'm proud to say that all those years that I've walked the yards, only one time did I ever have to use pepper spray on an inmate, and that was many years ago. I like to believe that my experience and ability to think on my feet kept me and those who worked with me safe from harm. I worked every custodial level from Level 5 (the worst for the worst) down to Level 1, and went home in the same physical condition that I arrived to work. I will be off for two weeks, and then will be back working in an administrative position with ADOC. So as I type this, I am putting on my uniform for the last time, and I think about all those staff I worked with all these years. My proudest moments are when officers came up to me and told me that when they found out they were being reassigned and were going to work with me, their response was "Cool". It doesn't get any better than that.

"Sarge"
 

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Congrats on the retirement. It doesn’t necessarily sound like something you had planned or wanted, but it sounds like you are making a wise decision. I know a job change can be bittersweet, especially after such a lengthy time in the position. I wish you luck. Maybe you will get more time to enjoy your car 😁
 

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You got in on your own terms, you retired on your own terms. Doesn't get any better than that! Enjoy and Congrats! Well deserved!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Congrats Sarge! I bet you have some good stories.
You got that right. I always could see the funny side of stuff going on all my life, and this place was full of them. I'll miss working with the people on the yard, but I'm not going to miss the politics and the BS.
 

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Congratulations on getting out with your sanity and health intact. Not all of us get the chance to do that. LEO across the street from me retired as a Sargent after his 30 years on the force. He could not take retirement doing nothing and has taken on a job working as an auto insurance claims investigator. Another LEO friend of mine just retired two weeks ago and I am watching to see how he handles it. Right now he is enjoying the time off to go hunting in Alabama.

I'm out on disability, did not get to put in my full pull. I got lucky and had long term disability insurance so I'm surviving.

Keep yourself busy one way or another, helps keep you fit and sane. So far, that is what my car is doing for me, though some of its issues are driving me crazy!

David
Ex LEO, Disability Retired Officer for the Federal Courts.
 

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IMO, corrections is the least appreciated jobs in the LEO realm. I've done a lot of contract work in jails and prisons, and most LEO's I've had the pleasure to talk with said the same thing as you. The work is fine. The politics can be unbearable. Privately run jails were the worst to be in. Everyone seemed to be miserable.
 

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My 40 year hire date anniversary is next March. 39 years in nuclear security from officer to Director of 230 officers. Did a 2 year stint on integration team for merger and now back supporting former staff I fought hard to put in place before I left. 30+ years with many of them, they are family. Letting them stand on their own will be a defining moment in my life. We are recognized as the best in the industry and I’m fiercely proud of them. My retirement will be many things, bittersweet being one of them. I can relate....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'll be off work for the next two weeks. Will spend week one with the grandkids, and then during week two I'll be flying out to Wisconsin to see my Dad, who I haven't seen in 10 years - long story. I will be taking my 16 year old daughter with me to finally meet the grandfather she's never met. After my two weeks are over, I'll be going back to work at the same prison I'm retiring from, but this time in an administrative position. If I manage to hang onto that for 10 years, I'll be pulling another retirement from the state of Arizona! :) But I know I'm going to be missing the camaraderie of working the yard with a good shift and it's us against everyone else.
 

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I came in at the waning of the Old School and I have had to adapt to the new era of law enforcement. I have 22 years and counting with the Sheriff's Office, 95% of which is in Patrol by choice, where the people are, and where my heart is. I can do anything an Investigator can do, except I have an office with windows on every side, my own temperature settings, my own background music, and as long as those under my supervision are safe, have what they need, and are carrying out the have-tos, my job is easy and I can work as hard as I like. I still like catching bad guys and I'm pretty darn good at it, Haha ! ! Sure, I could be snuffed out, but the Good Lord had taken such good care of me so far, I trust Him completely. It hasn't all been sweet, but it sure isn't ANYTHING like the mainstream media and the haters make it out to be. I have seen my old Sergeants and friends retire out over the years, and I sure miss them. I am only 43 so I can leave with 30 years on the books due to hazardous duty enhancement in just a couple more years and they will pay for my medical care etc from now on, but I have sons that are almost 15 and almost 12, so I need to work and provide the best I can for them until they are truly independent. I hope I can do this a long long time... I also do a lot of teaching so I hope I can pass on courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control, and an indomitable spirit, and develop an eagle's eye, an iron grip, a tender heart and a mind as durable as a 289 to the next generation.

I salute you, Sergeant, and wish all your roads are a pleasure cruise.

Lt. David Mayo, Lee County Alabama Sheriff's Office
 

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If you are coming to Wisconsin from Arizona you may want to purchase long underwear and sweatshirts ... it has not been warm around here so far this year. The extended forecast is for cooler than normal temps for the next two weeks. Low 50's in the morning with high around 70 ... maybe it will be refreshing for you coming from Arizona though.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
@myfirstcar66

I understand where you're coming from. I was pretty lucky in my supervisory career in that the majority of the shifts I worked with had some real good workers that knew what needed to be done, when, and by whom. Lots of times I felt like I was just there in case something happened. I always thought that I tried to create an island of sanity in a sea of insanity. I never had my own office, and I never forgot where I came from. I would be out there walking the yard, talking with staff and inmates, finding answers for questions, conducting searches, doing property inventories when inmates were being moved, and pretty much could and would do anything the officers needed to do. I also trusted my staff, and tried to not dump too much work on those who I knew would get the job done without complaint. I was also a firearms instructor for nineteen years and enjoyed it. The two things I'm going to miss the most...working with the good officers and running ranges. I was hoping to make it to 25 years, but it was not meant to be. I now look forward to my "new" career and working with some different folks.
 

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Congrats on the first 20 and best of luck getting your next 10 in administration. My hope is that the politics can be tolerated as I would think there would be more politics in administration than operations.
 

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For me, this was the key...

“I never forgot where I came from.”

If you can carry that with you the next 10 years, it will serve you and many others well.
 
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