Yesterday was my dad's last day with the Honolulu Police Department. He has been with HPD for almost 32 years. The officers in his district had a retirement party for him the other night and it was amazing to see how many people love him. I am not surprised.
Clayton is my step-dad. He came into my life when I was about 12 yrs old. He loved my sister Sadie and I like we were his very own daughters. Everyone that works with him has nothing but great things to say about him, his character and integrity.
He received a commendation award on his last day of work for his 32 years of excellent service. He always went above and beyond the call of duty. They spoke about what a great leader he was as their sergeant and what a great man he is. One of the two men who presented him with the award, which is also the two who were in the same recruitment class as him, spoke about being honored to know him and that in all the 32 years being in HPD did not change him. He is still the same man with the same giving and loving heart. I was so honored to hear him say that.
It was so nice to see him with his fellow officers celebrating and having fun. Since he was a sergeant and worked a lot of special duty to provide for our family, he always worked long hours. There would be times when we would hardly see him. Being that HPD is first responders in any crisis, we would be home alone with my mom as he worked long hours keeping the community safe.
I am so thankful that God has protected him all these 32 years and that he was never injured and that he has lost no man under his watch. When he told me this the other night leading up to the party I got chills up my spine. There has been many huge situations that he has dealt with including a hostage situation with one of my former classmates from high school. I remember every time I would hear news about an officer being shot or hurt I would call my mom to make sure my dad was okay. Usually she would not even know about it if I had not called her. I'm glad that I won't need to worry so much now that he's retired but first instinct will always get me until I remember he's retired.
It feels very strange that he's not in the HPD anymore. It's all we have known for 32 years. It will take some adjustment but we are all happy to have him at home more. He is one of those people who has already had another job lined up. He's working security for a hospital here in Hawaii and looking to maybe get into the reserves for HPD. This is only part time but he says he can't just do nothing. He's always worked put himself through private school and bought himself his first car and has always been self sufficient.
A little thing called retirement is not going to hold him back. =0)
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