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Taking time to appreciate the good things

On a Tiffin Police Department sergeant’s last day on the job Thursday, he took a moment to stop what he was doing and watch an eagle flying down the river.

A couple of turtles were sunbathing in the river.

A lot of times when people are working, says Sgt. Bryan Bryant, they are so busy in the daily routine that they don’t take time to appreciate the good things.

Bryant said he would miss all his coworkers, but was not going to miss the hours away from his family. He said he had worked with a lot of good people at the police department.

“A lot of fun times, a lot of sad times,” he said.

While Bryant’s retirement isn’t official until Nov. 1, saving vacation and holiday time enabled him to have his last working day Thursday.

According to Tiffin Police Department, Bryant was the last officer in the department to be hired in the 1980s and would be sorely missed.

Bryant, 52, said policing is a “young man’s game,” and he feels like it’s time to retire.

Bryant said police officers give up so much of their time to the job, like everyone who works shift work. He recalled working holidays and police showing up to family dinners in uniform, but knowing if the radio goes off, they have to go.

Most interactions that police have with people are on their worst possible days, Bryant said.

Bryant grew up in Tiffin and graduated from Columbian High School in 1984. He said he went into the U.S. Army two weeks after his 18th birthday.

Bryant was in basic training and military police school at Fort McClellan in Alabama, spent time in Fort Riley, Kansas, and transferred to Germany. While in Germany, he met his wife, Elke.

Bryant said he got out of the service in November 1987, took Tiffin Police Department’s examination two days later and was hired about a month later.

He said he was sworn into the department Dec. 31, 1987, “the same day my wife flew over to be with me.”

Bryant finished Tiffin University’s police academy and married Elke in May 1988. They have two daughters, Alicia and Katja.

During his time at the police department, Bryant was a patrol officer, served in the detective bureau and was one of the founding members of the department’s Special Response Team.

He had been the day-shift sergeant since he was promoted to sergeant Nov. 3, 2012.

Bryant said he was happy he was a police officer in Tiffin as opposed to other places. It is still “small town” enough that the majority of people do care and support their police and fire departments, he said.

Bryant said he thought his career had changed him in ways for the better. In other ways, he said, he’s more cynical and mistrusting toward people.

“Police in general question everything,” he said.

Bryant said he is going to go do something different and doesn’t know yet what it will be. He said he is going to look for a job to prevent boredom and said it would be nice to have extra money for hobbies.

He is going to take Elke on some more trips.

“Until after the first of the year, nothing,” he said about his immediate plans.

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