Long-time officer retires - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Long-time officer retires

Albany- "I started off in the patrol division back in 1969, December 1st," says Sgt. Fred Wood.

After 35 years and four months of service, Sgt. Fred Wood says it's hard to say goodbye to his Albany Police family.

"I'll miss them all, but I won't be too far away. I'll have contact with them," he says.

Soon he'll have to visit them in their new home at the Law Enforcement Center. It's just one change Wood has seen over the years.

"This building hadn't been built too long before I started here, and now they're going into the new building and it doesn't look like I'm going to make it over there but I will visit," says Wood.

"When I started in 1977 I had the honor and the pleasure of working with Fred as a trainee," says former chief of police Bobby Johnson.

Friends and co-workers say Wood has qualities many officers don't, the ability to work in any department and get along with anyone. It's one reason why they say he's had such a long career.

"He's very pleasing. He's very understanding. He's easy to talk to. He's a person of few words but you ought to listen to those words because they carry a lot of meaning," Johnson says.

Wood admits being saddened by all the negative attention the department has gotten over the past few months. He says more training can help weed out the officers who aren't up to par and make good ones, better.

"People make mistakes. We all do at one time of another, and I guess it's not just here but mostly everywhere you go," says Wood.

Sgt. Wood also says no matter how much negative light is shown on Albany police the community needs to remember one thing.

"Remember that police officers are people too."

Wood isn't completely leaving the law enforcement field. He's taken a job with the United States Marshals office at the federal courthouse in Albany.

Posted at 7:00 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com