Diane, The PD & The Cat

Diane Sherlock has served more than 41 years in several different capacities at the Grand Forks Police Department.  Today her friends and co-workers honored her at the PD with a wonderful retirement party.  I was asked to share a few thoughts.  They are below:

First, let me say thank you to the Grand Forks Police Department for inviting me to be a part of this event honoring Diane.  Thanks as well to the police department for the speeding ticket last summer on 17th.  It was my first…. in awhile.

Congratulations, Diane, on more than 41 years with the police department.  Diane knows what some of the rest of you in this room might not know, that I am right behind Diane when it comes to career longevity.  As of next month, I will have been with WDAZ for 39 years.

Awhile ago I had a little accident at work.  True story.  I slipped on some ice in the parking lot at Channel 8 and injured my foot.  So, I had to file a Workers Compensation claim.  I was talking on the phone with a nice woman at Workers Comp in Bismarck.  At one point she said something like “How many years have you worked at your current job?”  I told her 39 years.  There was a long, long pause on the other end of the line.  Finally she said “I’ve never heard of anyone working that long in the same job.”  I said, “Oh yeah?  You don’t know my friend Diane.  She’s got 41 years in with the PD!”

It’s true.  I started working for WDAZ in 1975.  One of my first jobs as a reporter was right here at the Grand Forks Police Department.  Not in this building, though.  Then the PD was of North 43d in what is now Brekke Travel.  Before that, believe it or not, it was the Grand Forks Airport terminal building when it was on the west edge of town.  In between, it was the police department’s building.

Long before the widespread use of computers, e-mail and that sort of thing, we would go to the police station every morning to check the police log.  To make sure there was no malfeasance overnight.  To make sure no television reporters had been caught speeding.  That sort of thing.

Diane and two or three other women worked in the office.  Eventually they learned that Ginny and I had a cat at home.  I don’t remember if it was Diane or not, but one day one of them said “Is that cat licensed?”  I said it was an indoor cat and it didn’t need a license.  They said “We license cats and dogs in this office.  That cat needs a license.”  It became our little running joke.

One day I decided to put an end to it.  So, I went home and got the cat.  I dragged it to the police station and plopped it on the counter.  I said “OK, we’re here.  License the damn cat!”  They did.

Ginny remembers it a little differently.  She remembers me dropping that cat on the police chief’s desk.  I don’t think I would have been that impertinent in those days.  Today, yes.  What with the speeding ticket and all.

In any case, I’m pretty sure it was the first time a cat appeared in person at the Grand Forks Police Department for a license.

Congratulations, Diane.  Thank you for so many years of service to the police department.  Thank you for so many years of service to Grand Forks.  Have a wonderful, wonderful retirement.