For his entire career, Officer Doug Hogate Sr. has been a figurehead of pride and hard work at the Salem Police Department. For nearly the last three decades, Hogate has been patrolling the streets of Salem, New Jersey every single day since he graduated from the police academy back in 1988.
But now it is time for Hogate Sr. to call it quits. And on March 24, he put his uniform on for the last and final time. That’s when he got the surprise of his life…
On his last day of patrol, Hogate Sr. radioed in for the final last time. And that’s when he heard a familiar voice on the other end of the radio. It was his son.
But this proud father and veteran cop wasn’t prepared for the emotional and touching tribute Hogate Jr., who is also a member of the Salem Police Department, gave his dad on his final day of duty.
In the message, that was broadcasted to all the local police cars, Hogate Jr. describes how much of a difference his father made for Salem and himself over the years.
And the veteran cop is reduced to tears. His life is flashing before his eyes and he realizes that his career is now over. But at least he made a difference.
Fortunately, a bystander was nearby taking video when Hogate Sr. radioed in for the final time. The heartfelt video of the now retired officer was shared on Facebook page of the Salem County 9-1-1 Center. As you could expect, the comments section of the video was flooded with applause and well wishes for the retiring cop.
“I have yet to watch this video without tears. I am so honored to be your niece and to have such a wonderful man in my life! thank you for your service and hard work, and most of all, thank you for your love & compassion! all of those years of stressful circumstances and tireless work never hardened your heart! you are the most supportive and influential man I have ever known! I love you with all of my heart!” says Tiffany Marie, Hogate Sr.’s niece.
The video, which was uploaded to Facebook, is included for your viewing pleasure below. Here is what was written in the caption:
“It is with great pleasure to announce that as of today, March 24, 2016 at 1800 hours, after 28 years of service, Salem City Police Sgt. Douglas Hogate Sr., Badge # 612, is retiring and has given his final Code 3.
“The Salem County 9-1-1 Center would like to wish Sgt. Hogate a Happy Retirement & wish him all the best!
“Here is a video of Sgt. Hogate calling in his final Code 3 earlier today…”
The video has been viewed more than 1.3 million times, received more than 21,000 likes and 10,000 shares.
Check out the footage. Do you think all cops deserve a sendoff like this after decades of service to their community?
What a great way for a father and veteran cop to retire. With his son in the force, at least he knows he is leaving the community in good hands.