Good bye, Gary and Good Luck

Last week we said good bye to Officer Gary Spann.  He retired after 25 years of dedicated service to the city. 

The last day on the job.

Gary served the citizens of this community as a police officer, as a motor carrier officer, as a school resource officer, as a DARE and as an evidence technician.

I frequently heard from citizens about their positive contacts with Gary.  He knew everyone in this town and people counted on him.  He was ordered to be on the desk on the last day because we knew he would be out taking calls instead of inside finalizing the things that needed to be done before he walked out the door. 
We hosted a small coffee for him on the afternoon of the last day so that friends and coworkers would have an opportunity to see him and wish him well.  I was struck that business owners and long time acquaintances of his made time to come to visit.  We had Gary’s family, co workers and people who were his DARE students (one who is now a sheriff’s deputy).  Even a former boss came to wish him well.  It was clear to me how much he is valued, not just by us at work, but by all the people in his life. 
He’s been a part of our life–we watched his kids grow up –heck, we watched him grow up and pass through the various life challenges that we all have.  I think he left us better people than when he found us.
We’re going to miss him.  We hope he visits us occasionally.  And we wish him well on his future life–we know he’ll do it with a great big grin and that friendly nature that makes people gravitate to him. 
Good luck, Gary.  And thanks for everything.