Scores of colleagues, some of whom had been retired for decades, turned out at the 26 Precinct in Harlem for the final “walkout” of legendary NYPD Detective First Grade John Roe on October 26th. Roe, who was a few days away from turning 63, the mandatory retirement age for uniformed NYPD personnel, became a police trainee in April 1968 and a sworn NYPD member in November 1970.
In his early days on patrol, he often had crossing guard duty in the 40 Precinct in the South Bronx. Years later, while working in Manhattan North Narcotics during the crack epidemic in the mid-1980s, a young female police officer named Lorraine Martinez remembered him getting her safely across the street when she was in elementary school.
Martinez had joined the NYPD in January 1985 and retired as a sergeant in August 2000. Long after she re-entered civilian life, Roe was still around, conducting stellar investigations, making quality collars, and enhancing his already lofty reputation in the 26 Detective Squad.
If Roe, the divorced father of two grown daughters, had his way, he would be reporting to duty for at least another decade. Although he enjoys embarking on international cruises and spending time with his family, his eagerness and enthusiasm toward solving cases is clearly evident in everything he says and does.
“I’m not really looking forward to retirement,” said the lantern-jawed Roe, who hails from a family of cops. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and I have honestly enjoyed every minute of it.”
“John personified all of the best qualities of an NYPD detective,” said Ed Mullins, the President of the Sergeants Benevolent Association who presented Roe with a Certificate of Appreciation for his more than 40 years of service. “Having people with his level of experience and expertise is invaluable, especially in times like these when the job is comprised of so many younger members. Besides being a superb investigator, he was a great mentor to many younger officers of all ranks, whether he realized it or not.”