Ways to stay connected with your LE family after retirement
You may not miss the negative aspects of working in law enforcement, but you will miss the people you worked with
In this episode of LEO Round Table, host Chip DeBlock asks his guests about the value of staying in touch with former colleagues after retiring from law enforcement, as well as options for keeping connected.
Interesting segment on Police1. I was a cop for 34 years. I worked as a city police officer and retired from the Illinois State Police in June 2016 after 34 years of honorable service. It was just natural for me to stay connected to the job as I live in the community I was a city officer in, and also where the Illinois State Police (ISP) District headquarters is located.
My first thought the morning after I retired and was looking at the man in the mirror, just like the past 34 years, was “Holy crap, you made it!” Within one week, the city police department hired me to do firearms training for them.
My first two classes were at the ISP district range where I had been in charge of the range for most of my time at ISP. After one year of doing the training thing, as most “retired” cops do, I stepped away. However, the group of SWAT operators/trainers from the Chicago area who adopted this Southern Illinois Trooper into their group kept inviting me to make the biannual trip to the Mid South training facility in Horn Lake, Mississippi.
I was a patrol sergeant at ISP and worked with some damn fine troopers. I was extremely proud when two of my guys called to advise they were being promoted to sergeant. Both have gone on to the rank of master sergeant. All three of us have talked a lot over the last four years. I stay in contact with a few people within the organization, including some of the new guys coming on the ISP who are from my home town. It’s good to get the call every so often of, “Hey, sarge, got a minute.”
I think it’s healthy to stay in touch. You do this job for 30 years, you can’t completely walk away and disassociate yourself from the being the police and THE good friendships you made. I had almost as much fun on the job my last day at work as I did on the first. With that said, my advice to all thinking about retirement, go out on your terms and be happy and enjoy life every single day, you earned it.
— Sergeant Craig Odom, Illinois State Police, District 13
A good number of retirees are buying motorcycles. I would encourage them to consider the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club.
The Blue Knights is a 501c3 charitable organization comprised of active and retired law enforcement officers who promote motorcycle safety in a family-friendly environment. The organization is one of the largest motorcycle clubs in the world.
The Blue Knights convene an international convention in the US annually. There is also a European conference. Local chapters host social and charitable events throughout the year.
Camaraderie, family fun, charitable giving and a continuing connection with your law enforcement family are all great reasons to join in what is in my opinion is the greatest motorcycle club in the world.
— Joseph Akers