‘You’re never too old’: 58-year-old police recruit nicknamed ‘grandpa’ follows his dream

A police academy recruit for the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department is proving that you’re never too old to chase a lifelong dream. (Source: KCTV)
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 5:37 PM EDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV/Gray News) – By the time most police officers reach their 60s, they’re thinking about retiring. But one recruit is just getting started.

At 58 years old, Albert Robertson is one of the oldest recruits the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department has ever had.

In a police academy class filled with recruits in their 20s and 30s, Robertson stands out.

“Obviously, I’m 30 years older than the next guy closest to my age in class,” Robertson said. “I think the youngest young man in class is 20. But they all kind of call me ‘grandpa.’”

Robertson said his dream is to keep the streets safe for women and children.

“I’m only one person, but I can do something. I can’t complain about crime if I’m not willing to do something about it,” he said.

His neighbor, who is a KCPD officer, supported Robertson’s dream to join the department. Robertson was also inspired by the lasting impression police officers made in the neighborhood he grew up in.

“When I grew up, there were some officers that patrolled down our neighborhood,” he recalled. “They knew all the children down there. They knew us by name. They were our community police officers. That was an inspiration.”

When the police department found out Robertson wanted to be an officer, they welcomed him into the academy with open arms.

Sgt. Jake Becchina with the KCPD said anyone who feels the calling to make a difference in the community is welcome at the department.

“Anybody that feels that way we got a spot for them,” Becchina said.

Although Robertson is new to the police force, he’s no stranger to protecting and serving. He served in the U.S. Army for 28 years.

Due to his age, Robertson will only be on the force for seven years before he will have to retire from the KCPD at age 65.

“I’m going to try and go out there and make a difference in seven years,” Robertson said. “The real heroes are the ones that have done this already for the last 15 or 20 years, or the ones getting ready to do it for 15 or 20 years. They’re the real heroes. They’re going to be in the department longer than me.”

Robertson is currently passing the police academy. He will have to pass the physical and mental tests, just like every other recruit, before he can graduate.

His academy’s graduation date is set for Aug. 3.

“You’re never too old,” he said. “Just put your heart into it. You can do whatever you want. Just set your mind to it, put your heart into it, and believe you can do it.”