The Last Lieutenant

I don’t usually write about things outside the realm of technology on this site, but today marks a special occasion. My father, David De Jabet, is retiring from service as a law enforcement officer today. Below is an article I submitted to my hometown’s newspaper, which was printed today.

Detective Lieutenant David De Jabet has served with the Pierre Police Department for 21 years, and has been in law enforcement for 26 years. On Wednesday, March 3, 2010, De Jabet will retire as the department’s last lieutenant.

Being a law enforcement officer is often a thankless line of work. As an observer of my father’s career for the past quarter of a century, I can say with certainty that officers truly stare into the face of evil. They are rarely recognized with the honor they deserve.

However, I believe my father would say the only thanks necessary is knowing he helped people and he did the right and honorable thing. Long ago, when I was a child, I asked him why he became a cop. His response was that he couldn’t stand bullies. He always felt like he was destined to protect those who were defenseless against those who would do harm.

Now it is time to put away the badge. Although he will no longer be serving in an official capacity as a cop, I can’t imagine the cop inside him will ever fade. My father is a man of service. He takes the motto “to serve and protect” to heart.

My father, Detective Lieutenant David De Jabet, will be Pierre’s last lieutenant due to a recent decision to consolidate the ranks. If you see him around town, instead of congratulating him on his retirement, thank him for his years of service.

I am so proud of your integrity, Dad. Your leadership and courage have served as a great example to others, and to me. Thank you for the sacrifice of not always being able to be with me when the defenseless needed you.

You truly are courageous. You truly are a hero.