Officer's selfless act: Volunteering to work on holidays - KMSP-TV

Officer volunteers to work on holidays so rookies can spend time with their families

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Would you volunteer to work on Thanksgiving?  What if it meant one of your co-workers could have the day off?

That's exactly what one Glendale Police officer did.  He was supposed to retire in September, but decided to stay and work on the holidays -- all to give rookie officers the day off.

That's right.  He's working on Thanksgiving and Christmas this year to give the younger officers a chance to be with their families.

Officer Willie Bishop doesn't have to work on Thanksgiving -- he asked to work.

"I'm going to have a lot of holidays off the rest of my life, so why not work and let some of the younger officers have time off to spend with his family and his children.. that's only fair," he said.

He turned 70 this week.  After 44 years in law enforcement, Willie will retire at the end of the year. He could have retired sooner, but he delayed his retirement to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"I just consider it common courtesy.. looking out for my fellow officers," he said.

Is it common for other officers to do what Willie did?

"No, I hate to say that, but no it's not," said Officer Kevin Garrett.

"He could get the day off because we go by seniority and he definitely could have the day off.  I was thrilled and impressed, but not surprised at all," said Sgt. Glen Vance.

For more than 15 years, Willie has patrolled the streets of Glendale.  Spend five minutes with him and it's clear he loves helping people.

"You've accomplished something.  You've helped somebody.  That's what makes it worthwhile," he said.

Willie may be 70, but his sergeant says he doesn't call in sick.  He's the first one at work in the morning and the last to leave every night.

"I'm definitely gonna miss him," said Vance.

And this year, Willie's family is going to miss him on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"It's time I can spend with them, but they understand and they know from here on out, I' going to be there every holiday."

And Willie officially retires on December 27th.  He plans on traveling and fishing after he retires.  He's already booked a cruise.

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