Friday, April 8, 2011

A Protector of Kids.....Calling It a Career after 36 Years!

Harlingen Police Department
Being a Police Officer and Chief of Police during my 26 Year Career I know how difficult and emotionally draining can be for any Police Officer to respond to a call which involves child molestation or where a child has been abused or murdered.  Trust me, I have seen cases that make grown men cry. Irregardless of the circumstances or how horrific the case maybe, a Police Officer has to respond to the call and maintain his professionalism.  Most Police Departments have a unit or in the very least a detective that is assigned to handle all of the kiddie cases as they are commonly referred to by some Officers. I salute each and everyone of them. However I would like to pay special tribute to one officer who dedicated 18 years of his career to taking care of his "kids" as he so graciously put its. The Officer is Sgt. Richard Turner, of the Harlingen Police Department. Richard recently retired from the department after 37 years of serving the citizens and children of Harlingen Texas, population of about 75,000. Harlingen is in deep south Texas, 20 miles as a crow flies from the Mexican border, and about 45 miles from South Padre Island.  I had the opportunity and pleasure to work with Richard on a few occasions, as always Richard always came through with whatever request or needed. I was the Chief of Police of a small Department just north of Harlingen, because of the size of the Town, we did not have all the resources that were sometimes needed, so I depended on the assistance of The Harlingen Police Department, the Texas Rangers for assistance on occasions. Whenever my officers ever needed Richard, he was always there to assist us, never saying no. I have no idea of the countless cases that Richard worked in his career, but they are more than I care to think about. For all officers the job in itself is difficult, not only are you an officer, your a marriage counselor, you are just about every profession rolled into one. On top of that, you are a husband and father expected by most to leave your job at the station when you go home. That is difficult. I can not imagine how much more difficult it is when dealing with infants that have had a leg broken by a spiral fracture, or a baby that has been scalded to death or a kid that has been bounced off the floor like a basketball.  All of that and so much more Richard had to deal with. However he was able to maintain his professionalism and be the husband and be a father of 4. My hat is off to him. He did his job, and did it well. It takes a special person to be able to handle the added stress of working kiddie cases. The City of Harlingen was fortunate to have had Sgt. Richard Tuner, he was and is a credit to his profession and a credit to The City of Harlingen.

I could go on about Richard, but I won't, because he is not a seeker of attention, however I wanted to thank my friend for his dedication to his job................Thanks ole buddy for a job well done.  Enjoy your retirement, your have earned it.

Until next time...God Bless You and God Bless America...........


No comments: