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Beloved Abilene Police Officer retires after 36 years of service

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - When you retire from 36 years of service to the City of Abilene, it calls for a celebration. That's why Officer Ricker was at the center of attention at the Abilene Taylor County law enforcement center today.

At an early age Mike Ricker knew he wanted to be a police officer.

"I grew up watching a guy named Jerry Tate working off of his motorcycle in East Abilene when I was growing up as a kid, ten twelve years old, and there was just something about seeing that guy on a motorcycle everyday and a big gleaming Harley and the shiny boots and all that business I knew early on that's what I wanted to do," Ricker said.

After 20 years serving his country in the navy, he came back to Abilene to serve his community.

"It becomes your family," Ricker said.

His passion and love for his job shines through.

"He has truly impacted this community. He's had a tremendous influence on me," Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge said.

Now, after 36 years as an Abilene Police Officer, Mike Ricker has taken his final ride.

"I looked forward to getting up and being here.  How many people can say that they're that lucky to have a job that they look forward going to after 36 years.  You know I'm blessed that I'm giving up something like that," Ricker said.

"I said no.  I said no you can't retire.  At 36 years you can do at least four more and he said 'yeah thank you for your input but I'm still retiring'," Chief Standridge said.

Ricker says he will look back on his days with apd with happiness but also some sadness.

"You know everything goes back to Rodney Holder.  The friendship that I developed with that guy over the years and ultimately we lost him but still to this day I can't sling a leg over that motorcycle and not think about him.  I can't drive down the road and not think about him," Ricker said.

Before he goes, he had to pass down an important patch he carried with him from Rodney Holder.

"It was a good time to recognize a young guy like Tyson Kropp because I think the world of that guy," Ricker said.

Officer Ricker's last day as an officer was Monday and he will be missed because he was more than just an officer to APD and the community of Abilene, he is a friend.  Officer Ricker will be staying in Abilene and plans to work part time for the Municipal Court at City Hall.

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