- Lauren Pack Staff Writer
On Aug. 11, 1986, Don Garrett began a “31-year adventure” when he began patrolling the streets of Fairfield.
Come July 2, Sgt. Garrett will close the book on his law enforcement career and start a new adventure full of family and community involvement in both his native Hamilton and in Fairfield.
“It was just time,” Garrett said of his decision to retire. “I felt like the department needed a change, some movement forward and some new faces.”
Garrett, 54, has three children and five grandchildren that he will be spending more time with during the second chapter of his life.
“If anybody gave up a lot it was them,” Garrett said of his family.
He also plans to spend time gardening, continuing his volunteer work and resuming his love of sketching. He and wife, Betsy Hope, Hamilton Community Foundation vice president of strategic communications, are involved in many Butler County organizations.
He leaves the job as a patrol supervisor, but also spent time in investigations, juvenile crime and the vice unit.
For Garrett, the job has always been about the people and specifically helping them.
He said he enjoys seeing people who have had “issues” early in life grow up to be productive adults.
“Helping people, particularly the kids and my fellow officers, the new ones on the force, that is what I enjoyed most,” Garrett said.
Unlike many officers who never have to draw their weapons or shoot in their career, Garrett did. He wounded a man who was holding a screaming woman in a car. The incident, which resulted in the man going to prison, however is not something he dwells on.
“I appreciate every person I have run into. Good or bad, I have tried to treat them fair and they have treated me fair,” Garrett said. “Thanks for enriching my life.”
Fairfield Police Chief Mike Dickey said Garrett’s retirement does leave a dent in the department because of the experience he takes with him. He noted that most recently Garrett has been leading the department in traffic crash analysis.
“He’s very gregarious,” Dickey said. “That personality has served the department well in community outreach.”