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Local police retire
By: ALICE HUMMER Review Correspondent, Staff Writer
The retirements of Sergeants Larry Martin and Ray Burns, from the East Cocalico Police Department leaves a big void to fill. This sentiment was echoed by their boss, Chief of Police, George Beever.
"It’s been my honor to have served with Ray Burns and Larry Martin for their entire careers. Both of these men are extremely dedicated to the community, on duty or off. They were both extremely vital to the day-to-day operations of the police department, and will be missed. The department will have to find a way to replace their combined 56 years of experience, but I am confident that we will. I know that I speak for everyone in the police department in wishing Ray and Larry nothing but the best in their futures," said Beever.
Sergeant Larry Martin, 50, retired Jan. 5 and uses his veteran detective skills serving in the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office.
Sergeant Ray Burns, 53, retired April 6 and received approval by Cocalico School District Board in February to serve as a substitute paraprofessional and administrative assistant.
Martin, with 26 years of service, and Burns, with 30, recently took time to answer a few questions for The Ephrata Review:
Ephrata Review: Why did you choose to retire now?
Martin: For me, I became eligible to retire and this other job became open, so the timing was right. I enjoyed the years I worked here. I enjoyed the community and the people with whom I worked.
Burns: I was eligible to retire when I turned 50. I’m fortunate because my family is grown and it felt like a good time.
ER: How has police work changed over the years?
Martin: One area is the advancement of technology. When I started, there was no cell phone. I carried quarters to make phone calls. Now we even have technology in the car to generate reports.
Burns: With technology you are connected all the time. We have smart phones. Even when not officially on duty, you’re still connected. It made so many things easier for us. The bad thing is that criminals have taken full advantage of technology which makes it harder to gather all the information (we need to get).
ER: What has been the hardest part of the job?
Martin: Death notifications. You’d think it might get easier as you have to do it more. As you get older, the gravity of a serious situation makes it harder, not easier.
Burns: Young people dying. When it comes to a young person, it is especially sad when death comes at the hands of the parents. In a six-year period, we had three cases of young people dying like this.
ER: What hobbies or special interests do you pursue in your time not working?
Martin: Reading, especially history. I’m also interested in travel. We did as much traveling as we could with a family. We have five children.
Burns: My kids are all grown and they have their own kids. We all enjoy fishing and hunting at our cabin In Mifflin County. It’s a good place to go and spend time. One of things I’m looking forward to is becoming more involved in the community.
ER: What are some of the highlights of your career?
Martin: This job has continued to provide the opportunity to learn. One of the highlights was working with the county’s crime unit. We also help other municipalities out, usually in conjunction with the D.A.’s office. This usually is a big help, and I’ve felt I’ve been able to contribute. This job gives you opportunities that most people do not experience, and from a different side of a situation. Highlights include the good people you meet. I’ve learned some things from some of the folks with whom I’ve had to deal.
Burns: There’s so many good things that happened. I was fortunate that I came from outside the area (Bucks County) so nobody knew me. I was asked to do deep undercover drug work. Seven municipalities worked together and cooperated to address drug issues in northern Lancaster County.
In 1998, for a short, period, I went back to the Lancaster County Drug Force. I was provided the opportunity to do many things people with my rank and position would not normally do.
With the departure of the two veteran sergeants, the police chief and the corporals are trying to cover the many areas addressed by the sergeants. East Cocalico Supervisors have announced no plans to fill the vacancies. More RETIREMENTS, page A11