Together they spent 78 years trying to keep people in our community safe.
Richard Shade tried to keep us safe from a criminal element during his 39 years with the Lima Police Department. David Rosebrock also served this community for 39 years with the Allen County Health Department, basically trying to keep us safe from ourselves.
We thank each of them for a job well done and wish them the best in their retirements.
Lots of words have been used to describe the two men. They have been lauded for their cool and calm approaches, their mix of optimism and concern when tackling issues, and in the end, for being the voices of reason.
We'll always remember them for their professionalism.
It came in a humble way for Rosebrock, who will be leaving his position as the longest-serving health commissioner in Ohio. Talking about his career last week, he simply said, “There are things I'm proud of and things I think we're doing better as a community, but a the same time, there are things that concern me about where things are going. I guess that's the way it's always been.”
Cigarette smoking fits into that category. It's been a never-ending battle in terms of promoting health. In the year Rosebrock came on board, 37 percent of Ohioans smoked regularly. The latest numbers for Allen County show a steady decline that's now at 21 percent.
Shade's career at the Lima Police Department began Jan. 30, 1973, before 31 of the department's 74 other officers were even born. Those who served with him will tell you his work ethic sets him apart. He spent 25 of his 39 years working third shift and was a SWAT officer for 24 years, part of which he spent as the team's leader. He wasn't afraid to make sacrifices, as evident by a $5,300 pay cut he took when leaving the Lima Ford Engine Plant in 1973 to become a police officer at a salary of $7,200 a year.
Both men learned to deal with many changes during their four decades on the job.
The health department Rosebrock came to in 1973 is unrecognizable by today's standards. Back then, there were 30 employees working out of a small office attached to the bus station where Lima Senior High School stands today.
When Shade started there weren't enough radios to go around, and police cars were in bad shape with seats held together by tape. Now cars have night vision equipment. Paper files have been replaced by computers that supply information instantly. There's been enormous upgrades in equipment and new equipment to aid officer and public safety.
Sadly, both men may be the end of an era. Fewer people today work nearly 40 years for one institution. Layoffs and job transfers are the main culprits here. The institutional knowledge that each possess of their departments will be hard to replace.
When you talk about true professionals that have worked in this community, you'll find the names of David Rosebrock and Richard Shade toward the top of the list.