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Officer to end 20 years with Warrenton Police

WARRENTON, Ga. -- Patricia Kendrick-Walker, the longest-serving woman in the history of the Warrenton Police Department, has tenured her resignation after 20 years.

Senior Officer Walker announced her resignation to Warrenton Mayor Tony Mimbs and members of city council during their regular monthly meeting last Tuesday night. Her last day on the job as a police officer will be Dec. 31.

"It's going to be different, because I've done it for so many years," said Officer Walker during an interview with The McDuffie Mirror . "I've enjoyed what I've done all of these years as a police officer."

Before becoming a police officer, Officer Walker worked as an emergency services dispatcher for seven years. And since 1992, she has worked part time in that role. Just one day after leaving her police position, she will begin working as director of the Warren County 911 Emergency Center.

"That's always been close to my heart, too," said Officer Walker. "Anything to do with helping people has always been so self-rewarding."

Reading from her letter of resignation, she told the mayor and council members: "Thank you for the opportunities of professional and personal development that you have provided me over the past 20 years. I have enjoyed working for this agency. I appreciate you. While I look forward to exploring my future endeavors, I will truly miss every employee of the City of Warrenton. Words can't express how I will truly miss my brothers of the badge."

Officer Walker said she appreciated serving under Warrenton Police Chief Jim McClain, former chief Allan Johnson, the late city clerk Betty Garbutt and former Warrenton Mayor Alva L. Haywood, who also is the former owner and publisher of The Warrenton Clipper .

She recalled that Mr. Johnson offered her a job as a police officer while she was working as a dispatcher. She accepted and took her oath of office from Mr. Haywood on Thursday, July 13, 1989.

"What a great career this has been," said Officer Walker, who grew up near the Jewell Community of Warren County. "I'm really looking forward to my new job and the opportunity it affords me to continue helping people."

Through the years, Officer Walker has seen many terrible sights, including murders. She still recalls one of those slayings like it happened yesterday.

It occurred in the mid 1990s, Officer Walker said, and the victim turned out to be a friend's boyfriend. She and Officer Greg Copeland, now retired, responded to the shooting call.

"All I could do was to console my friend," Officer Walker said. "There was nothing anybody could do for her boyfriend. He was gone. It was real sad."

Less than an hour later, the man responsible for the shooting was caught by authorities. He later was convicted and is still serving a prison sentence today.

Another tragic case involved the drowning of two small children in Warrenton, which received national medial attention.

Officer Walker was off-duty at the time she heard that a little boy and his sister were missing from their home.

"I went to the scene, because I knew they could use the extra help in trying to find those missing children," Officer Walker said. "I could remember having patrolled by their house before this happened. The little boy would be outside sometimes and wave to me."

After three days of searching for the children, their bodies were found floating in a city sewage pond.

Officer Walker said there have been many sad cases that she has worked over the years and that she has to deal with them in her own personal way.

"Sometimes I have just gone home and cried, because you have total recall of a case," she said. "It's important to let the emotions out when you go home and are alone. That way you can be ready for what might come your way on the job the next day."

When she's not helping people, Officer Walker spends time with her husband, James Walker, who works at H.P. Pelzer in Thomson. She also spends time with her children, Roderick Kendrick, of Warrenton, and her daughter, Shandria Walker, 19, a sophomore at Savannah State University. Officer Walker also enjoys spending time with her 3-year-old grandson, Roderick Kendrick Jr.

Officer Walker is a member of Fellowship Baptist Church where she serves in the usher ministry and is a member of the hospitality committee.

"The church is a huge part of my life," said Officer Walker. "I have a wonderful church family."


Senior Officer Patricia Kendrick-Walker read the following poem after announcing her resignation to the mayor and city council members at City Hall in Warrenton last Tuesday night.

Tears of a Cop

I have been where you fear to go ...

I have seen what you fear to see ...

I have done what you fear to do ...

All these things I've done for you.

I am the one you lean upon ...

The one you cast your scorn upon ...

The one you bring your troubles to ...

All these people I've been for you.

The one you ask to stand apart ...

The one you feel should have no heart ...

The one you call the man (or woman) in blue ...

But I am human just like you.

And through the years I've come to see ...

That I'm not what you ask of me ...

So take this badge and take this gun ...

Will you take it? Will anyone?

And when you watch a person die ...

And hear a battered baby cry ...

Then so you think that you can be

All those things you ask of me?

(The author of this poem is unknown. Mrs. Walker obtained it from the Web site of the Peace Officers' Memorial Foundation Inc.)

Web posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009

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