Police officers see a lot in the line of duty. The longer you serve, the more you see, and signing off for the last time is an emotional final chapter for most officers.
Officer Duane Ledoux’s final call was even more special because of who was there to participate and congratulate him.
Ledoux had lost one of his sons, Nick, in an accident years before, but his other son, Nate, meant the world to him. Unfortunately, as often happens, Nate was far away from his parents and they didn’t expect to see him.
According to WCVB, Ledoux — from Southbridge, Massachusetts — had served as an officer for more than three decades, and on July 25 he finally retired from the force.
Chief Shane Woodson talked him out. As Ledoux drove along for the last time, decked out in his uniform and cruising along, he listened to the chief’s parting words.
“After more than 31 years of service to the town of Southbridge,” the chief said, “Officer Duane Ledoux badge 1041 is retiring and giving his final code five.”
“I wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors. Congratulations, brother.”
“I… I thank you,” Ledoux said as he choked back tears. “Too much to say, but. Thank you.”
“And to everyone in my family, everyone I’ve served with, and… to my boys,” he said as he paused and wiped his nose. “Time to go home. It’s time to go home. Thank you.”
As he composed himself, another voice came through the radio.
“It is my sincere pleasure to announce that as of 11:17 hours on this day, after 32 ½ years of service, my father, Southbridge Police Officer Duane Ledoux, is retiring and has given his final code five.”
Ledoux kept driving along, but halfway through the next section he finally started to realize who was speaking, and he almost couldn’t contain himself.
“It is my honor to acknowledge this code five. To set free a man who has sacrificed so much of his time for all of us, so that he may spend the rest of his life discovering new craft beer, exploring this beautiful country, and most important of all, chasing glory.”
“Dad, you are officially code five.”
“Love you,” the emotional father replied. Then he asked if that was Nate, and the answer was yes. The elated dad broke down all over again over the sound of his son’s voice.
“He did come home,” he said, happy tears and all. “He came home. I called that.”
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