June 30, 2021 will end an almost 48-year career for this sweet husband of mine as he retires from the City of Newnan Police Department, and I have had the blessing of walking with him for 42 of those years, really all 48 if you count dating.
It all started for him at the age of 18 when he began as a radio operator for the Newnan Police Department. From there he moved up to patrolman then desk sergeant, then patrol sergeant, to lieutenant then admin captain, and for the past almost 20 years he has served as chief of what he would say is the best police department in the world.
He humbly says this, not meaning any credit to himself, but to those who have become his family for all these years. Those who share the same desire to help in any way they can to serve a community that they all love. A community that supports them because they respect the citizens and the community and its citizens in return respect them.
Through the years I have seen a man who got into policing because he loved helping others. I have seen a man who at times was broken for things he saw while doing his job, the death of a child, to have to deliver bad news to a parent, husband or wife.
I’ve also seen a man that loved talking with others, often when we would be out and about shopping, etc., we would run into someone who would stop to talk, and I would later ask, “Who was that?” only for him to say, “Someone whom I’ve had to lock up before.” I’m thinking, “If you had locked me up, I surely wouldn’t want to talk with you,” but I realized it was always a mutual respect for each other and neither had hard feelings or held a grudge. Mutual respect, wow!
On many occasions, I’ve seen a man where others have come up to him and said, “You changed my life. … Do you remember way back when you stopped me and chewed me out for something or another? You really let me have it! Well, it changed the direction of my life, and for that I am so grateful to you.”
I’ve also seen a man who loves to laugh and joke around. I’ve seen a man that sometimes early in his career that worked not only his full time job but also 2-3 part time jobs just to support his family.
I’ve seen a man who played Santa on the court square every Christmas the day after Thanksgiving for over 30 years. Why? Because he loved it, and he enjoyed hearing the kids’ requests each and every year. Often, officers come up to him and say they sat on his lap at Christmas when they were kids and even the officers’ kids continued the tradition of visiting Santa.
I’ve seen a man broken for having to do hard things that bosses have to do.
I’ve seen a man that rotated shifts every week for the first 18 years of our marriage. That is seven days on first shift, then two days off, then seven days on second shift with two days off, then seven days on third shift with three days off, only to repeat it again.
I’ve seen a man that worked part time on his days off yet still helped with chores at home, dishes, cleaning, laundry, etc. and helped with our daughter, shuffling to day care, because I’ve always worked full time also. I’ve seen a man who is a wonderful daddy and now a wonderful grampy.
I’ve seen a man who when he became Chief, turned his job and department over to God, who asked God to bless and keep those under his care and leadership, and I’ve seen God bless this police department greatly. I’ve seen a man who has been broken and devastated for things I can’t even say.
Today, I see a man who loves this department and this community and that is why it is so hard for him to leave it behind after 48 years. But, I also see a man who is my everything; who loves me and makes me never doubt his love for me.
Today, I see a man who will always love this career and those in it, those who are in it because they truly want to help others. I see a man who will always love this city and its citizens, and will always put their best before his own. I see a man who I am beyond words proud of because he loves God first, and I’m OK with being second.
All of this being said, thank you City of Newnan for loving on us all these years. We will always and forever be grateful to have served such a great city and we thank God for each and every one of you.
When you see us out and about, share a story of a fond memory with us, laugh with us and cry with us, because there is a season for these things.
Thank you for a wonderful 48 years, and thanks to Almighty God for giving us this great opportunity and blessing!
1 Peter 4:11
Always stay Newnan Strong!
Chief Douglas (Buster) Meadows & Mary Lynn