Retiring Cop's Son Surprises Him With Heartfelt Tribute

Retiring can be a challenging experience. Even people whose lives have been full of accomplishments find themselves with mixed feelings, ranging from excitement to sorrow.

Douglas Hogate is well aware of the emotional rollercoaster involved with giving up a long-held job and beginning a new phase of life. As his retirement date approached, the law-enforcement officer knew he would soon be saying goodbye to friends in the Salem (New Jersey) Police Department.

He got close to a lot of people during his 28 years of public service.

Hogate will never forget his last day of work. As the sergeant completed the final shift of his career, he signed off by making the usual Code 3 report on his squad car radio.

What he heard next brought tears to his eyes, according to American Web Media. The voice on the other end of the radio was that of his son, emergency 911 dispatcher Doug Hogate Jr., who had something special to say.

The son described his 50-year-old father as the greatest man he has ever known. He told him how much he appreciated all the hard work he had put in through the decades.

Hogate did not expect a family member to respond to the Code 3 call. In a video of the officer during the conversation, which was posted on Facebook, he can be seen beginning to cry with joy.

Among the numerous reactions to the video were responses from people who know and respect Hogate. Some of his co-workers wrote about how much they love the man.

Even people who never met Hogate were moved to make comments praising him and wishing him a happy retirement. Others complimented the son for showing his love and appreciation.

The Daily Mail reported that the footage, recorded by Hogate’s daughter Jenna Keen, had received more than 21,000 “likes” and 2,400 comments on Salem County’s 911 Center Facebook page.

Hogate Jr., having decided to follow in his father’s footsteps as a law-enforcement professional, has been a dispatcher for nine years, according to Fox 29.

At the beginning of his emotional talk with his dad on the police radio, the son declared: “It is a great pleasure to announce that at as of 1800 hours on this date, after 28 years of service, my father, Salem City Police Sergeant, Badge Number 612, is retiring and giving his final Code 3. It is my honor to acknowledge his Code 3 to the greatest man I know.”

At that point, the officer took off his eyeglasses and raised his hands to his face. Following his son’s statement, he responded: “Thank you, sir.”

A fellow officer then appeared on the scene to congratulate Hogate Sr. by shaking his hand.

“It was simply something for us to have a memory,” the son explained in an interview with NJ.com. “Throughout the years growing up, my dad raised us."

"He put everything off to the side to focus on his career. It’s something that is amazing for someone to do — he is the greatest man.”

Hogate Sr. pledged to remain involved with the police department and the community because Salem “feels like home.”

He told NJ.com: “It’s just odd right now that I’m not going to wear a uniform anymore or be on patrol. I’ll still listen to what goes on.”

Source: AWM
Photo: AWM

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