Jack Swindell held his emotions in check for much of his recent retirement party.
While it was difficult for the former sergeant to say goodbye to fellow officers, co-workers and community leaders he worked alongside for his 35-year career, it wasn’t until his final sign-off that he became emotional.
Unbeknownst to Swindell, his daughters, Lindsay and Lauren, had arranged with dispatchers to conduct his final call.
The moment was one that was emotional for the 56-year-old and those who had gathered for his retirement party in the office of the Seymour Police Department.
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"I was not aware that they were going to say what they did on the radio and be a part of it," he said. "It was quite emotional, and I’m really proud of them."
Both of his daughters said it was emotional for them, too.
"We wanted to be the ones to send him off because we have been with him on this journey," Lindsay said. "I thought it would be very sentimental, but it was even more so than I imagined."
With your dad being a police officer, there are many times when you worry about them as they work, Lauren said.
"It’s scary, but you’re also so proud of what he does," she said. "My heart was racing, and my voice was shaking."
Each said they are proud of the dedication he had throughout his career as an officer.
Dedication is the right word, as each of his 35 years were served at the Seymour Police Department.
"I love this department because it’s in a smaller community where you know a lot of the people, but it’s big enough to give you plenty of excitement," he said.
Swindell loved the opportunity to help people each day, he said. Those are the moments he chooses to think about when he reflects on his career.
He said there are plenty of negative calls throughout the years, but focusing on the positive ones gives him a smile.
Like the one where a woman called because her husband was sick and she couldn’t take him to the hospital because of a snowstorm.
Swindell went to the woman’s house and shoveled snow so she could get her car out of the driveway and take her husband to his appointment.
"There also was an older man who was confined to his house because of a snowstorm and he couldn’t get outside," Swindell said. "I took him his mail and paper every day and was happy to do it."
Helping people was his favorite part of the job, he said. He said he also enjoyed not having to sit behind a desk all day.
"There was freedom to it where you can get out and do things," he said.
Much of his work was patrolling the streets, and he became a sergeant in September 1998.
"Everyone has to pay their dues, and I spent many nights on shift and missed plenty of family reunions, things with my daughters and holidays," he said.
In his retirement, Swindell plans to spend a lot more time with his family, including his grandchildren, who attended his retirement party.
"I’m sure I’m going to miss it, but I also know it’s time for me to retire from this type of work," he said.
What he will miss most is the people he worked alongside each day, he said.
"They’re all dedicated to what they’re doing," Swindell said. "They’ve been the best."