For the past 27 years, my brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock has been a peace officer. He spent the first seven years as a deputy for the Natrona County Sheriff’s Department, and the last twenty years as a police officer for the Casper Police Department. All that has come to and end now, as Chris retires from service. For me, as for most of his family, it is a very strange thought. We have identified Chris as a police officer for so long, that it’s almost as if we have to figure out who he is now. I know that is often the case with any retiree, no matter what field, but some changes seem bigger than others. When my husband, Bob Schulenberg retired, his identity went with him. He was a mechanic, and he still is a mechanic. His location just changed. That’s what happened when Chris switched from the sheriff’s department to the Casper police department…different location, but the same job. For Chris all that will change now, as he begins his new career in sales. It will be a big change, but I believe it will be a good change.
Chris served the people of Natrona County and the city of Casper for 27 years, and that is an amazing feat for a man in law enforcement. Law enforcement is a demanding occupation, both physically and emotionally, and 27 years is a long time to take that kind of abuse. The physical part of it is hard enough…running after people, jumping fences without knowing exactly what is on the other side, forcing their way into places where criminals are trying to keep them out, and pulling people out of cars and other places they have been trapped in…just to name a few. The emotional strain is far worse, in my opinion. Whenever an officer goes out on a call, they must almost force their adrenalin into high gear. I could say that one type of call is worse than another, but in reality, every call has the potential to reach a flashpoint…that moment, when communication breaks down, and the situation explodes. What might seem to be a simply traffic stop, suddenly puts officer against perpetrator, and sparks fly. Having gone on ride-alongs with Chris, I can say that I have seen those points a time or two. I can also say that my brother-in-law has an uncanny ability to de-escalate a situation better than anyone I’ve ever seen.
Chris is not retiring outright, but is rather going to go to work for Comcast in their sales department. He will be working in the area of police radios and such, so it’s really right up his alley. While it is going to be a big change for Chris, as well as my sister, Allyn and their kids, it is really the best move for him. Like a caregiver, the stress of his occupation could have, at some point become detrimental to his health. Yes, you can take care of yourself, but stress is stress, and it’s hard to avoid when your job demands it. There just comes a time when you know that it’s time to move on, and that was were Chris was, so once he was at the point of being vested, he knew it was his time to move. This really is a very positive move for Chris, and I wish him well in all his future ventures. Chris, we the people of Casper and Natrona County thank you for you years of faithful service. We congratulate you on your retirement. On now to new adventures!! We love you!!