A Tribute to My Dad, the Police Officer

My dad

My dad

When I think of heroes, a quiet, gentle man with a police badge comes to mind. I was three months old when my dad entered law enforcement. Over the years, he served as a lake ranger, patrol officer for small towns and large cities, sheriff deputy, and chief of police.

This month, my dad, who the locals call Officer Bartlett, retires from a 40-year law enforcement career. Not too shabby for a man who just celebrated his 70th birthday.

Lipreading Mom salutes all police officers, but especially Officer Dad. Here are my reasons.

- Dad was the first member of his immediate family to graduate high school and the first to attend college.

- When writing my first book, Lip Reader, I modeled the courageous police officer in the book after my dad.

- As I now write the sequel book to Lip Reader, a photograph of my dad as a young man still inspires the courageous police officer character.

- My three children know that when their Grandpa Bartlett comes to visit, they are guaranteed a 70-year-old devoted playmate.

- Dad and I were both raised as the middle child. He understands me.

- His favorite philosophy, which he often repeats in his sweet Oklahoma accent, has calmed the family many times: “It’ll all work out in the washin’.”

- He is the spitting image of the late actor Steve McQueen, the King of Cool. My Dad is cooler.

- Dad has earned the respect of not only every police or sheriff’s department he has worked for—but the mayors, city council members, and civic leaders.

- We both share the same sky blue eye color, Irish heritage, and hearing loss genes (Dad hears much better than I do, though). It makes for interesting conversations.

So thank you, Officer Bartlett, for faithfully executing the job of being my dad. I salute you today and always.

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10 thoughts on “A Tribute to My Dad, the Police Officer

  1. Wow! Tell Uncle Jimmy Congratulations & Good Luck in his retirement! He has always been special to the whole family! Your tribute to him is very touching, very special! Sending our love your way!

  2. Being a former police officer, I know the many sacrifices your dad made in his life serving his community. I can tell you that one then one tear fell from my eyes as I read this. I am now 69 years old. Three years ago I suffered Kidney Cancer. Lost a Kidney but God said he has more work for me to do before He called me home. Good luck to your dad. NO ONE will know of the what this job is like until you go and do it awhile. May God bless your family.

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