Archive for Saturday, December 24, 2005

Police department losing pair of veteran officers

December 24, 2005

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Two Lawrence police officers with about 60 years' combined experience on the department will work their last shifts today.

Sgt. Catherine Born and Officer Douglas Miller both are retiring. Born has been with the department since 1977, Miller since 1974.

"They're both examples of long-term, dedicated employees," City Manager Mike Wildgen said.

Born wasn't the first woman hired as an LPD officer, but she's completed more years of service than any other female officer and is the first to retire. She was a single mother when she joined the force and said the department was flexible in helping her juggle family life and work.

"It's been a good, good career," Born said. "It's a family down there, and I hold a lot of respect for the department and the city."

She was promoted in 1991 from patrol to the detective division, where she spent 11 years and specialized in rape investigations. In 2002, she was promoted to sergeant charged with supervising evening-shift patrol officers.

"During our careers I have come to view Catherine as an excellent mentor, colleague, and friend," said Sgt. Dan Ward, who worked as a patrol officer with Born and spent 11 years working with her as a detective.

Miller has worked for the past 31 1/2 years as a patrol and traffic officer.

"Doug will be missed, and we wish him the very best," said Sgt. Paul Fellers, an evening-shift supervisor.

Miller said being able to help the public was one of the things that motivated him to stay with the job. "When I got off duty ... if I was able to solve somebody's problem or send them in the right direction to solve it, that's probably the biggest satisfaction I got out of it," he said.

This Christmas will be the first one Miller has had off in roughly 15 years - not because he drew the short straw each year, but because he regularly volunteered to work the holiday.

"When my children got old enough, I tried to work Christmas and let the younger officers who had families or kids have the day off," he said.

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