Just wanted to fill all of you in…my last day on duty is this Wednesday 3Jan2018 (retiring). I am not sure where to start, but here goes:
People always say, “Thank you for your service”. My response would be, “Thank you for allowing me to serve”. I say that because that means God (and the public) trusted me to do so. Believe me that it was a huge honor. It’s an experience that I’ll always treasure. It was a dream of mine since I was thirteen years old. My dream of being a police officer in the county I grew up in came true. You can’t ask for anything more than that from a career. I was truly blessed.
I’d like to start out by thanking the public. One thing I will never forget is how kind all of you were to all of us when times were tough for law enforcement. When there literally was a “War on Cops”. Or at least that’s what we were being told…your actions told me otherwise. You brought us gifts. Your kids brought us homemade cards. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts wanted tours of our station. When we were in the drive-thru line, you silently paid for our orders. You were watching us, and we knew it. That meant a lot to us. Perhaps more than you realize. Thank you kindly.
To my fellow officers: The thoughts in my head are many, but what really sticks out is this: There are many things that can take you out during a law enforcement career. Bullets are only one of them. We all know what those things are. To make it well over two decades in a relatively busy environment like this without any major complications is nearly impossible, it seems. There is no doubt in my mind that your back-up and support were huge factors in me making it. Many thoughts have gone thru my head lately, like this one: When I was on midnight shift for twelve years, and going after drunks, I stopped thousands of cars. Who knows what COULD have happened if that back-up car didn’t show up while I was on the side of the highway at 3am with a suspect. And you know what? That back-up car was ALWAYS there. ALWAYS. They NEVER let me down. They NEVER left me alone. Not ONE TIME. I owe my fellow officers everything for that. They got me thru a very difficult career. I thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart.
I’d also like to thank MPD Chief Mark Weldon (retired) and Hartville PD Chief George Dragovich (retired). They both hired me and gave me a chance.
To my family: My Mom operated on the “tough love” theory. I’ve said it many times that she made my life so much easier. She prepared me mentally for this career. No doubt about it. She actually didn’t want me to be a police officer. She actually wanted me to be a math teacher (Sorry, Mom. Calculus 3 put me over the edge). As a mother, she worried about me my entire career. I understand. I do. But I know she was proud of me. That’s all that matters.
My Dad: He legally adopted me at the vulnerable age of three. I didn’t actually realize what an impact he had on my life until about five years into this career, where more often than not, a father was not present in the homes I was being sent to repeatedly. Not saying that a single mom cannot do it themselves, because they can, and often they DO. But I’ll just say that I am convinced that he saved me a lot of headaches by doing something he did not have to do when I needed him the most. Thank you, Dad.
My brother…Dennis is a police officer in Canal Fulton and is the School Resource Officer there. Having a sibling that can relate to you during your career is priceless. He allowed me to vent at 3am when we were both on midnight shift. He also gave me some really adorable nieces and nephews. Thanks, Den.
My brother Ian is in Germany. I plan to visit him once I am retired. We’ve always had a close relationship, which is priceless. I have many good memories with him in California. Ian served in the USAF and also gave me three nieces / nephews. Thanks, Eebie.
My sister-in-laws: My sister-in-law Ana Marie Muntean is a Senior Master Sergeant in the US Air Force, looking to get promoted to the highest enlisted rank of Chief Master Sergeant very soon. She’s stationed in Germany (Ramstein Air Base). Ali Muntean is assigned as a SRO with the Stark County Sheriff’s Office (Plain Local Schools). I am proud of both of them. I thank them for providing me with such beautiful nieces and nephews and for being the sisters that I never had.
My uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends: Thanks for listening to all my “cop stories”. That was my way of venting. Thanks for listening.
In closing, I thank all of you for your support and would ask just one favor from all of you: that you remember all of the officers in this country who did not make it. If you would be so kind, please take a few minutes and say a prayer for them and their families.
Sgt B Muntean