By Jay Bender

When the people think of “police,” they will probably envision a patrol officer, a detective or some type of tactical operator. That’s understandable, since these are the most visible representatives of a police department. I have joked in the past that we are sort of like fighter pilots, not because we are some super-cool Hollywood  caricature, but because we are a relative handful of professionals doing things that attract attention supported by many dedicated individuals doing the behind-the-scenes work that matters every bit as much.

They may be the multi-tasking dispatchers taking calls and dispatching first responders, or the ever watchful, infinitely patient corrections officers watching prisoners, or the meticulous records clerks who manage the volumes of paperwork generated by law enforcement.

One of those people, Solon PD’s facility manager Dennis Simecek, is retiring today. His job title sounds simple, but from what I’ve seen over the years, it was anything but simple. Our building is much more complex than most, with HVAC and plumbing serving a multi-bed jail as well as evidence storage and processing, an armory, security garages, sallyport and office areas, each and every section requiring unique efforts due the mix of restricted or secured areas. Dennis handled or coordinated them all. He is a person who never seems to stop moving.

All of that, of course,  is in a job description. What has meant so much to so many of use is the way he pitched in, with enthusiasm, in so many other ways. I’ve been involved in many training exercises and community relations events over the years, and Dennis was always there, ready to do the countless little things we trainers are always forgetting. If we were training offsite, we knew the van would be loaded with fans, extension cords, signs, and coolers with bottled water and ice. When something needed fixing, Dennis got it fixed, or at least told you how to do it.

Beyond all that, we have valued his friendship and upbeat attitude. No matter how busy he was, Dennis has found time to share a joke or talk some sports. He always seems to remember what’s going on with our families and ask how they are. A quick hello to Dennis has always been one of my favorite ways to start or end a shift. If you know Dennis, you know he is a father who is rightfully proud of his daughters yet can talk about them without sounding boastful. He has a clever, kindhearted sense of humor, and I have to say he inspires that in others.

If you are fortunate in life, you will get along with your coworkers. If you are very lucky, you will find friends. And if you are very, very lucky, you will get to work alongside a Dennis.

Good fishing, my friend.

6 thoughts on “Transitions

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  1. Thank you Jay and all the fellow staffers I had the privilege of working with. It’s been an honor that will never be forgotten. Stay safe.

  2. Dennis is a wonderfully positive, thoughtful, funny, helpful, amazing person. You guys are losing a great colleague, but Rush Hour Grille is getting our #1 customer and friend more!!! We ♥️ Dennis!!!

    1. My goodness Sara, I just saw this today. Thank you for your kind words but most importantly, your friendship and to be a part of the Rush Hour ‘family’ of friends.

  3. Dennis is a good egg, always there to lend a hand or a shoulder depending on the situation expecting nothing but friendship in return. He is kind, thoughtful and caring to everyone from all walks of life that cross his path
    I’m am so greatful I got to work with this great man and even more greatful that he gets to retire and enjoy his daughters and fishing! I don’t know what we would have done when we were still over there, without you, your truly an amazing person

    1. Christine, bless you. I appreciate the kind words. You know my love for all the Dispatcher’s and the incredible work your Department does every day. A huge chunk was missing in my daily work when your department ‘re-located’. I enjoyed helping all of you and the appreciation from the staff. Thanks again.

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