Problems arising at the Emporia Police Department have been easy fixes for the past four-plus decades. Go find June Rae, and she’ll solve it.
There is one problem Rae can’t solve. Where do her peers go now that she has retired after 44 years of service? That’s the dilemma facing the EPD personnel. Major Todd Anderson has worked with Rae since 1985. He described her as the go-to person he and others depended on day-to-day.
“I’m positive we’re going to struggle,” he said. “Especially in the next 6-12 months trying to come up with the answers she has always given us. We’ll find them, but it won’t be as easy as it was with June.”
Police Chief Rick Pinksaw said the record keeper is the MVP of the department. Rae is the one assisting the EPD personnel on issues with computers and technology.
Though the police chief is wondering how the void Rae leaves will be filled, he is truly happy for his trusted employee.
“After 44 years in one department, she deserves her retirement,” Pinksaw said. “I hope she enjoys every day of it. I don’t know what we’re going to do without her, but we’ll figure it out.”
Rae said she’s seen a lot of changes in her 44 years at the EPD. The changes have come in the department and the community. All in all, she believes everything in the community is on the right track.
Last week the EPD hosted a retirement party for her at the Meherrin River Park Complex. Captain Jerry Wright cooked steaks. The EPD was out in force to honor Rae and show appreciation for her outstanding work and dedication to the job.
Forty-four years of going to work every day at the EPD indeed becomes a lifestyle. Retirement will be an adjustment for Rae. It turns out the decision to retire was a little trickier than initially anticipated.
“It was a difficult decision,” Rae said. “It truly was. I put my retirement paper on the chief’s desk when he wasn’t there. Then, I’d sneak in and take it back. That went on for a couple of weeks. Finally, I just did it.”
Rae will get to spend more time with her husband, James, but she will always be a part of the EPD family. Though she is officially retired, she shouldn’t be surprised when that first phone call comes from the EPD asking for her help. With the void Rae leaves by retiring, that can only be expected for some time to come.