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Officer Breaks Down Signing Off for Final Time After 30 Years on Force

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For generations, numerous kids have dreamed of becoming a police officer. According to thebalancecareers.com, this long-standing goal ranks right up there with other esteemed professions like firefighters, astronauts, and detectives.

Maybe it’s a choice motivated by the sense of honor, duty, and dedication one must feel putting on that revered blue uniform every day. Maybe it has to do with the noble calling to serve and protect.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police includes a stirring law enforcement “Oath of Honor” on its website. In part, this creed pledges to uphold trustworthy traits like integrity, character, and courage.

Officer Andre Jenkins was undoubtedly reflecting upon all these guiding principles, as he recently prepared to retire after 30 years of service with the Sarasota Police Department. After all, he’d spent decades patrolling the local streets as part of several skilled resource teams and specialty units.

What 52-year-old Officer Jenkins may not have anticipated was the enormous audience his final radio transmission would accrue. At the time, he was simply signing off while reminiscing about cherished on-the-job memories.

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But his concluding “10-7” out-of-service call, filmed at the suggestion of Officer Cliff Cespedes, became touchingly emotional. “This will be my last transmission on the radio,” began the veteran policeman, choking back tears.

As Jenkins shook his head in quiet contemplation, the dispatcher’s voice offered congratulations on his impending retirement. “I had plenty of good times and a lot of good memories over my career,” the officer replied, detailing multiple points of gratitude.

Then, in response to Jenkins’ own voice quivering with emotion, the voices of his fellow brothers and sisters on the force began filtering in. “Thank you for everything,” said one, which was promptly followed by another proclaiming, “You earned it buddy, good job.”

Once this long succession of glowing sentiments had been conveyed, Jenkins replied simply, “Thank you all, God bless you.” And by this point, the tears were rolling freely down his face.

This sentimental snippet was subsequently posted on the SPD Facebook page. From there, it was liked and shared thousands of times — even retweeted by President Donald Trump.

Jenkins later admitted to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that technically, the viral video represented take two. He explained that he was initially so overwhelmed with emotion that he couldn’t even finish his sentences.

But SPD spokeswoman Genevieve Judge appeared to understand completely. “I think every officer feels that way when they leave,” she told the publication, adding that “it’s not just a job, it’s a career — it’s a family here.”

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Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children.
Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children. Additionally, she's an avid animal lover who has spent much of her life rehabilitating abused rescue canines.
Books Written
"The Hidden Treasury: Stories of Wonders and Wanderings"
Location
Illinois
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Music, Marketing, Nutrition, Fitness, Pet Care/Behavior, Cooking, Entertainment




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