After almost 90 years of service for the Eastlake Police Department, the closing chapters are upon three team members.
After retiring in October this year, Sgt. Tim Hauser will have completed 25 years with the department. Denise Powers, who has completed 30 years with the department, and Lt. Tom Angelo, with nearly 34 years, have recently stepped down.
“You grow close to everybody and there are times where you see these guys more than you do your own family,” said Powers, who started as a dispatcher for the police department and has been retired since Oct. 31.
Powers got her inspiration from her father, who was a Willoughby police lieutenant.
“I really enjoyed the work and it was a stable career,” she said. “When I first started, everything got hand written on a card and you time-punched it when they were en route and when they got on the scene. Eventually, we got a computer, but it didn’t work so well.”
Powers said retiring was an easy adjustment.
“I enjoyed it from the very first day. I have six grandchildren, and I get to enjoy them more and I could go on vacation when I want,” she said. “There will be no schedule. If it’s snowing outside, look out the window and go back to bed.”
Eastlake Police Chief Larry Reik said losing Powers, Hauser and Angelo will be difficult.
“Both Denise and Tom were on the job before I was, and helped teach me the nuances of the job compared to what you learn in the academy,” Reik said. “When Tim came to our agency, he brought some other experience with him.”
Reik said that any police, fire or safety force agency will go on.
“That’s just the nature of the beast,” he said. “There is a legacy portion that I don’t think resolves as much with having something named after you or something like that. But, if you teach somebody this is the proper way to do the job and treat people, then they teach the next generation and then the next.”
Angelo was in the police department just under 34 years after serving in the military, and he said that he did pretty much everything a police officer could do.
“This is a good department with a lot of good people,” he said. “The people who work here give a lot of themselves for the community, and I’m not sure the community fully appreciates what they get. I’m glad I got to be a part of it.”
For Angelo, it’s a big year for weddings.
“My wife and I have two children getting married this year and my niece is getting married this year,” Angelo said. “We’ll see what happens after that. Every day is Saturday.”
After Hauser retires in October, he plans to golf more with Angelo, as well as take time to enjoy fishing, shooting and not working weekends, holidays and midnights, he said.
“I started out going into math and science, and after a couple of years, I realized I didn’t like that,” Hauser said. “I had some friends who were going to the police academy at Lakeland (Community College), so I started taking classes. I enjoyed it and got sponsored, and went to the academy and here I am.”
For those up and coming in the field, Hauser encourages them to be prepared for more change.
“Your legacy is carried on through the actions you had,” Reik said. “All three of them – everything they taught, especially for the City of Eastlake, passes through long after we’re gone. That ripple effect does carry on.”