Resource officer at BOCES retires from Sheriff's Office after 35 years of service
It was an emotional moment when Jodie Hebdon radioed dispatch to sign off, signaling his last shift as a deputy with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office after 35 years of service.
Hebdon spent the past 16 as resource officer at the BOCES campus on State Street in Batavia. And it's leaving that job that is particularly difficult he said.
"I'm going to miss these kids," Hebdon said. "You know, there are some kids here that have been through horrible lives, horrible living conditions. Trauma, PTSD, whatever you want to call it. The ability to at least interact with them and make something happen for them is good."
Hebdon started his law enforcement career in the Army and when he came home after a hitch in Germany, he enrolled at Genesee Community College. After a stint as a corrections officer, Hebdon was transferred to road patrol before being asked to apply for the resource officer position at BOCES.
The majority of the students at BOCES don't have issues, Hebdon said, but it's dealing with the at-risk kids and helping them is what made the job worthwhile.
"I was the one person they interviewed (for the job)," Hebdon said. "Why I gravitated to the job is I like helping at-risk kids. Today I had six girls at different times who came up to me who were victims of severe abuse, sex abuse, rape. They see me as a safe adult, a safe male. They have the ability to speak in a good way to a man without being extorted or taken advantage of. They gave me some long embraces. They don't want me to go."
When it was time for Hebdon to leave, his coworkers both within the ranks of the Sheriff's Office, other local law enforcement officers and staff at BOCES formed two lines outside the BOCES entrances and saluted and applauded Hebdon.
Then it was time to sign out.
"This is hard," Hebdon said, brushing back a tear before informing dispatchers he was saying goodbye.