Friday was the last day on the job for a veteran Dalton Police Department officer. Sergeant Chris McDonald called it a career after 26 years with the agency. He marked his last shift on duty with a ceremony and reception in his honor at the Police Services Center attended by fellow officers past and present as well as family and friends.
“This is incredible to have so many of you come out,” said Sergeant McDonald when speaking to the crowd gathered for the reception. “You know in 26 years, I’ve told people in the past, there has not been a single day that I regretted coming to work and that’s saying something. That’s not saying that it’s all been easy, but I’ve never regretted it.”
Chief Cliff Cason noted praised McDonald’s years of service to the department and noted that he’s built up so much respect in the agency that the department might be calling him back in from time to time to help with training.
“It’s been a pleasure to get to work with you, Chris, over the past 26 years,” Cason said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with you, and I think the world of you… you’re still a part of our family if you ever need anything from the Dalton Police Department. We’re glad to have you with us here all of these years.”
Assistant Chief Chris Crossen echoed those sentiments, noting that Sergeant McDonald’s career with the department coincided with most of his own.
“It will be an odd day Monday to come in and it’ll be the first day in a long, long time where I haven’t come in and he’s down the hall or upstairs or in the office with me,” Crossen said. “Chris has been a sounding board for me… he’s the kind of person you know will tell you the truth about what you’re looking at”
Sergeant McDonald served in a number of difference capacities during his 26 years with the department. He began his career as a patrol officer and also served as the agency’s recruiter and Public Information Officer. McDonald also served more than one stint as the department’s training officer and frequently instructed firearms qualification and training courses for the department’s officers.
In 2022, Sergeant Chris McDonald was the police department’s recipient for the Elks Dedication To Service Award. Sergeant McDonald is a mentor to many of the department’s officers, having served many years as the agency’s training coordinator and now as a supervisor in the patrol division. In his nomination, Assistant Chief Chris Crossen said that McDonald has “served to build the professionalism of the other officers in the agency and expanded the training offered by the department and made some major improvements in the area of training… Sergeant McDonald is recognized by the officers in our agency as a reliable source for training and has been recognized by many surrounding agencies for his skills in this area as well.” Sergeant McDonald is a 25 year veteran of the police department.
Lt. Jason Bishop (right) poses with Sergeant McDonald after a ceremony marking his retirement