It was standing room only as friends and family honored nine retirees from the Wilmington Police Department. Chief Ralph Evangelous and others shared kind words and funny stories about the retirees, and each was presented with special gifts. Captain Bruce Hickman has been with the department for 28 years and has seen countless changes. "We have come a long way technology-wise and equipment; we are on the cutting edge." Sergeant Melissa Perkins has 30 years of service. She was the second female to ever be promoted to sergeant at the WPD. "Law enforcement is a huge family - lots of brothers and sisters. There are captains here that I worked for 25 and 30 years ago." The other retirees include Sergeant Tommy Eason, Corporal Pat Pridgen, Thomas Nixon, Irene Cancro, Delores McRae, and officers John Grkman and Larry Zettelmaier. "I've enjoyed every minute of it - all the men and women of the police department working at the police department have been absolutely phenomenal to work with," Hickman said. For many, this is a bitter sweet day. Law enforcement has been their life for so many years, and now it's time to move on to the next chapter. Perkins added, "It's nice to know I made a difference in some lives." The police department retirees are among the forty city employees who have opted for early retirement this year. There will be a ceremony on Thursday for ten retiring members of the fire department.
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