Friday, July 25, 2008

"318, 810."

That would be Officer Paul Aksamit (318), calling out of service (810) at the end of his shift in Lincoln police radio code, circa 1974. After 34 years, Paul turned in his gear yesterday, as he retires and begins his next career. Paul has taught several hundred young police officers the ins and outs of working third shift: feathering your emergency brake to slow your already-slow patrol car without the brake lights coming on; flashing doors to find the glint of fresh tool marks, or the missing cross bolt; rolling your windows down so you can hear what's going on. Parking on the high ground, and just listening.

Cory Mateson, a reporter at the Lincoln Journal Star did a nice story about Paul in this morning's newspaper. It's a nice profile of a good police officer who has dedicated his entire adult life thusfar to this City. Paul and I worked together for a good long time. We were in plenty of tight spots and scrapes, pulled innumerable practical jokes on one another, and had a good deal of fun off duty. There are few places more pleasant then Paul & Butch's dining room table after a long shift. I'm going to miss him, but it's a good thing he will still be around the building.

Paul's 34 years have almost exclusively been on night shifts, and predominantly on deep nights: the 1100 to 0700 shift. He's had the seniority to pull any shift he wanted (he has socks older then his coworkers), but he's worked nights by choice. There is nothing like the smile on Paul's face when he's headed out the door in a white t-shirt, portable radio in hand, on his way home after snagging a couple of people overnight from a larceny in progress, or chasing down a guy one third his age in a foot pursuit.

Everyone admires Paul. He's easy with a joke, can dish it out and take it, has an incredible knack for being in the right place at the right time, and never backs away from work or trouble. He's the golden retriever of police officers--loyal, friendly, always at your side. But Paul's primary accomplishment has nothing to do with his 34 years as a police officer. Rather, it's his 34 years as a husband to his lovely wife, and 33 years as a great dad to four great kids. Now that is an accomplishment. What a family!

Paul stopped by my office yesterday morning, and returned something I loaned him 25 years ago. Here it is:


That's a box of templates and stamps that I used for accident report diagrams. Paul was forever borrowing my collection, and when I was headed for administration, I gave him my gear. The flexible curve is missing, but it is otherwise intact. The plastic hinge on that cheap blue pencil box has miraculously held together and the original Sanford ink pad is actually still functional after a few thousand accident reports. It's just like Paul: well-used, worn-in, and ready for the next crash.

If you're looking for a nice set of stamps, come see me.

Oh, by the way--that bottle of white-out was not part of the original kit, Paul.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG, What are we going to do when Paul is gone....panic,tears and more panic.

Anonymous said...

Paul's socks are Holy.

Anonymous said...

Paul Aksamit is one of the best. How good of cop is he you ask? Here are some examples:

Paul once took a mulligan on a hole in one.

Before Chuck Norris goes to sleep at night, he checks his closet for Paul.

Paul sleeps with a night light. Not because he is afraid of the dark but because the dark is afraid of Paul.

Superman wears Paul Aksamit pajamas to bed.

Paul didn't hang the moon. He stared down an asteroid and it stopped in it's tracks.

Paul's calendar goes straight from March 31st to April 2nd; no one fools Paul Aksamit.

Paul Aksamit was originally cast as the main character in 24, but was replaced by the producers when he managed to kill every terrorist and save the day in 12 minutes and 37 seconds.

Paul doesn't cut his grass, he dares it to grow.

They say that Superman's only weakness is kryptonite. Paul laughs at Superman for having a weakness.

Paul's dog is trained to pick up his own poop because Paul Aksamit will not take sh*t from anyone

Paul can build a snowman out of rain.

Paul's wristwatch has no numbers on it. It just says, "Time to kick ass."

Anonymous said...

More of Paul's Awesomeness:

Paul doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Paul Aksamit has allowed to live.

Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with Paul.

Paul Aksamit does not sleep. He waits.

Paul is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

Paul Aksamit is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

Paul counted to infinity - twice.

When Paul does a pushup, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.

Paul Aksamit is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.

Paul Aksamit can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.

Paul Aksamit doesn’t wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.

Paul can slam a revolving door.

Paul does not get frostbite. Paul Aksamit bites frost

Anonymous said...

Great Career Paul!! You were a real cop that officers respected!! Good Luck.

Zen said...

Stop...im dying here!

By Paul said...

Here's a shot of Paul in action.

Hint: He's the top one.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the SE team could use that crash kit to write up all the accidents they seem to be working at the "Elkcrest Choke" these days. Lots of people in a hurry through that construction zone. How many accidents since the construction work started, I'd hate to even guess at the number.

Anonymous said...

I loved having Office Aksamit in my neighbourhood on patrols. He was dependable and I just felt better when he was working. Besides, he's gorgeous! :)

Anonymous said...

I hear as a result of this retirement the Police department's mustasche count is down significantly.... Denny Scott is now a shoe in for the mustache award. We'll miss ya Paul, and your upper lip hair :) Good luck in all you do.

Anonymous said...

Yellow out. An error notification would unquestionably be handed out if it were white.

Tom Casady said...

2:32-

You need to have someone with an employee number lower than about 350 explain the color difference between an 842 and an 843 to you.

Lorimor said...

Great story Chief. Thank you for your service Officer Aksamit.