CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman Police Officer Matt Dean will officially retire from the department March 1, after 31 years and two months in law enforcement. His last day of work was Friday, Feb. 2.
“In that many years, I was able to meet so many different people and do so many different things,” Dean said. “One thing is being able to get my pilot’s license and fly police helicopters. I was able to go do a lot of things, from escorting dignitaries to responding with our teams to work and help other agencies during emergencies. It has been a one-of-a-kind experience.”
When asked about people who were influential in his career choice, one person quickly came to Dean’s mind.
“One was my dad. I just remember growing up and how proud I was of him,” Dean said. “My dad was a State Trooper and I grew up watching him serve and I knew I wanted to do that, too.”
Asked what he will miss, Dean said, “Probably the opportunity to be able to help people when they least expect it. That’s something that was just the job, the badge. Also, the officers and staff members I have worked with all of these years and the memories made.”
As to what he is going to do in his retirement, he said, “I enjoy spending time with my family. I definitely like to tinker with cars, trucks and motorcycles and I’ll be snow skiing.”
Of his 31 years in law enforcement, 21-plus of those were in Cullman, which he said truly made an impact on his life.
“I have been really fortunate to work here,” Dean said. “I had the opportunity to do so much more than just work patrol. I had the best job in the department – from motorcycles to a boat to the helicopters. I loved my job, the people and my community.”
Cullman Police Chief David Nassetta said Dean’s skills, discipline and hard work will be missed.
“Matt has pretty much been a driving force behind the aviation for the police department for the last several years,” Nassetta said. “We will certainly miss the expertise he has provided for the department. He will still be part time with us, thankfully. But we appreciate all that he has done with aviation and the hard work over the years with patrol. He has been the key agent in keeping the helicopters in the sky and he will be missed in day-to-day operations.”
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