For 28 years, Douglas Hogate, Sr. worked a job he loved in Salem City, New Jersey. As he ascended in his career, he also raised a family that included three children, all of them regular visitors to his workplace.
At 50, it was time for Douglas to hang it up. Time for him to make his last rounds. Time for him to make his last call. It was time for this small-town police sergeant to put his uniform away. But before he said his official farewell to his colleagues, Douglas had one last thing to do.
He had to sign out with dispatch, and that turned out to be something special. On his final day before retiring, he called in his last “Code 3”. It was already an emotional day for the officer, and the dispatcher on the other end understood. It was none other than his own son, Douglas Hogate, Jr.
Acting as a fellow employee and son, he gave his dad a proud send-off while his sister Jenna held the camera on Douglas Sr. to capture the moment. In this video below, you can hear the exchange between father and son as the esteemed officer clicked things off one last time.
“It is a great pleasure to announce that after 1800 hours on this date, after 28 years of service, my father, Salem City Police Sgt. Douglas Hogate Sr., badge No. 612, is retiring and giving his final Code 3. It is my honor Salem County PST Douglas Hogate, Jr., to acknowledge this Code 3 to the greatest man I know.”
The video was posted to the 911 center’s Facebook page, where it racked up over 1 million views. Keep watching to see Sergeant Hogate’s reaction to the heartwarming signoff. You’ll be a little choked up too.
According to an article on NJ.com, he drove through town for one final spin in his cruiser through the place he patrolled for so many years. As someone who’d interacted with community for nearly three decades, he established himself as someone in law enforcement who could be trusted.
One of Sergeant Hogate’s biggest assets was his ability to communicate and relate to residents. He took pride in treating people the way he’d want to be treated. His demeanor helped him to calmly diffuse situations and have a good relationship with the people of Salem City.
Admittedly, it will be hard for the sergeant to be completely retired. He spoke on how the change would affect him:
“I’m still going to have a connection. The guys I worked with are great, it’s just going to be different now. Once you’re a police officer, it changes you. Even on my days off, I’ll be looking out. It’s just a mentality you get into.”
Like many retirees, it’ll take some time for him to get used to a different routine. From here, it seems he’ll truly be missed on the force, but won’t be too far away.
How did you react to this touching video? Do you know someone who had a similar experience when they retired?