The best laid plans…
Congratulations to Sgt. Billy Schield of the Chicago Police Department on his retirement; 31 years of Vaudeville and a pension! We know you’ll miss the clowns — not the circus.
We know in the law enforcement life there is a fellowship which lasts long after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet. We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life. We also know how the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is. These are the burdens of the job. You will still look at people suspiciously, still see what others do not see or choose to ignore and always will look at the rest of the law enforcement world with a respect for what they do; only grown in a lifetime of knowing. Never think for one moment you are escaping from that life. You are only escaping the ‘job’ and merely being allowed to leave ‘active’ duty. So what we wish for you is that whenever you ease into retirement, in your heart you never forget for one moment that ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called children of God,’ and you are still a member of the greatest fraternity the world has ever known. There are those that think they understand, and then… there are cops.
So, that's a wrap...tonight was my last night on the streets of Chicago as one of Chicago's Finest. 31 years in the books. It is a bittersweet moment. The night did not go as planned, but throughout the years there was rarely a time that ever did.
“The best laid plans of mice and men..." I have had a storied career, never had a bad job, and was honored to work some of the finest human beings on the face of this planet. I had my bumps and bruises, cuts and scrapes, and days that scared the crap out of me, but I made it through. There were many that did not. Steve and Kevin, Eric and Eddie, Brenda and Sam, Paul and Jimmy and so many more. They will live on in my heart and even though I will no longer don the star, I will never forget.
To the men and women who were my teammates throughout the years, the 021st Dist SCIP team, the 012 Dist Rapids, the 950 cars, the 4545 team, the 4236/4210 team, my other 4210 team, and my 3700 guys and gals, you are what I will truly miss the most. You were my family away from home and I will never forget any of you or the times we shared. I walk out with my head held high, but with tears in my eyes knowing that I am not one of you anymore. I hope that you learned as much from me as I did from all of you.
Take care of each other, yourselves and most of all your families. Watch your six and your partners and make sure you go home each and every night with the same number of holes that you started the day with. "And hey you slobs, let's be careful out there." "Squad, show me clear with a 19-P. I have a late lunch in the station. Good night."