Video: Retiring cop gets surprise from son during final radio call
The police department posted the emotional father-and-son moment on its Facebook page
By Lisa Gutierrez
The Kansas City Star
SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. — In more than 32 years as a cop, Duane Ledoux probably never, ever, responded to a dispatcher by saying, “love you.”
But he did on his last day of work last month before retirement, because on that special day it was his son, not a dispatcher, who responded to his final radio call as a cop.
The police department in Southbridge, Massachusetts posted the emotional father-and-son moment on its Facebook page. It’s one of several final calls that have drawn media buzz in recent weeks as police departments begin sharing these often-emotional farewells with the public.
In May, a tearful final radio call by officer Andre Leroy Jenkins Jr. in Sarasota, Florida went viral, USA Today reported.
Ledoux signed off from his law enforcement career with a “code 5,” the code officers in the department use to wrap up a scene, according to WCVB Boston.
Posted by Southbridge Police Department on Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Southbridge Police Chief Shane Woodson read an official thank-you over the radio moments before the water works began.
“After more than 31 years of service to the town of Southbridge, Officer Duane Ledoux, badge No. 1041, is retiring and giving his final code 5,” Woodson said. “It’s my honor as chief of the department to acknowledge this code 5 ...
“The Southbridge police department and the town of Southbridge want to thank you for your dedicated service to the law enforcement profession. I wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors. Congratulations brother.”
Ledoux responded from his police car: “10-4. I thank you.”
“Too much to say,” Ledoux continued, his response filmed by someone sitting next to him in the car. “But, thank you. And to everybody in my family, everyone I’ve served with. And, to my boys ...”
He stopped as he began to tear up.
“Time to go home. It’s time to go home. Thank you.”
Officer Duane Ledoux's Last CallPosted by Southbridge Police Department on Wednesday, July 25, 2018
The next voice Ledoux heard over the radio surprised him. It was his son, Nate.
“it is my sincere pleasure to announce that as of 11 17 hours on this day, after 32 and a half year of service, my father, Southbridge officer Duane Ledoux, is retiring and has given his final code 5,” Nate said.
When Ledoux realized that it was his son’s voice coming over the radio, he teared up again. According to WCVB, Ledoux lost another son, Nick, in a car accident.
“It is my honor to acknowledge this code 5,” said Nate. “To set free a man who has sacrificed so much of his time for all of us, so that he may spend the rest of his life discovering new craft beer, exploring this beautiful country, and most importantly, chasing glory,
“Dad, you are officially code 5.”
A few days later in Burlington, North Carolina, the adult daughter of an assistant police chief there helped send her father into retirement with a special final radio call, too.
Tatiana Verdeck is a dispatcher in the same police department and used the code 10-42 to sign him off, a code used sometimes by officers heading into retirement, by others to honor a fallen officer, according to the Times-Union in Burlington.
She told the local newspaper of how her father’s 30 years of service to the community meant he missed holidays and family events, how they would worry when he went out on dangerous calls, how she continued to worry about him after she became a dispatcher with the department and got closer to the action.
It all came spilling out in her good-bye to him over the radio.
“Daddy, I love you and I’m so proud of you,” she said.
©2018 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)