SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – After 40 years of public service, the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Springfield post is saying ‘Happy Retirement’ to their senior dispatcher.
Tom Farris’ retirement doesn’t just mean the OSP post in Springfield is losing one of their best employees, it means they’re also losing decades of irreplaceable experience.
It’s hard to tell how many calls Farris has answered as a dispatcher in his 19 years with the Highway Patrol, and even more difficult to tell how passionately he’s answered the call of public service.
“It’s not about you, it’s about the team,” he says. That compassion is what both his biological and law enforcement family appreciate the most about him.
Farris has worked as a Sheriff’s deputy, K-9 handler, and detective.
Since starting with OSP, he’s won Dispatcher of the Year twice.
“You’re making a difference in people’s lives, getting them assistance trying to find where things are or directions,” he said.
Some calls will always stay with him.
“A semi rear-ended two vehicles, caught on fire, and then he burned up in it. A little bit after that we had another one that caught on fire and he burned up in that,” he reflects.
Now, he’s passing the baton.
“I’m 69 years old. This is not an old man’s sport anymore. It’s time to let the younger ones come in and learn how to do things,” he said.
His experience is priceless to those following closely behind.
“From new troopers to new dispatchers we all kind of look to Tom to show us the ropes,” said OSP spokesperson Sheldon Goodrum.
Those ropes are heavy with years of knowledge, but ready to be passed on as Dispatcher 6032 retires.
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