LONG BEACH — At Veterans Field, steps from the Long Beach Police Department, Officer Tim Mortenson gave his final sign off after more than 20 years of service.
The ceremony was the culmination of Mortensen’s childhood dream to become a police officer.
Mortenson, 55, was first inspired to become a police officer at a young age after watching “Adam-12,” a fictional TV police procedural drama that followed two officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.
“I always wanted to do it,” he said. “When I was a kid I loved ‘Adam-12.’”
Mortenson joined the police force in La Push in 1997 and became a corporal. In 1999, he joined the Long Beach Police Department.
‘A brotherhood and a calling’
The camaraderie and closeness with fellow officers and co-workers is one thing Mortensen will miss most, he said.
“It was nice and refreshing to work with people who wanted to help others every day. I’ll miss the camaraderie with everyone. It’s a brotherhood and a calling, like no other job I’ve had. Others lives are in your hands on a daily basis.”
Mortenson said he’s not going to miss the violent calls, chaotic schedule or midnight call-outs however.
“I won’t miss seeing people’s lives shattered,” he said.
After a combined 23 years with two departments, Mortensen said it was simply time to retire.
“It’s surreal, I’m going to miss it. But I had a good 23 years and it was time.”
Little moments made the difference
The little moments in between emergencies sometimes had the biggest impact. Mortenson particularly cherished the time spent in schools as a resource officer.
“I didn’t know if I would like it and I absolutely loved it,” he said. “Anytime a kid would wave and be excited to see you always brightened my day.”
In retirement Mortenson is eager to spend more time with friends and family including his wife of 30 years, Micki, two kids Mitchel, age 28, and Jared, age 22, and his grandson, Kaiden.
“I’m looking forward to a more calm, easy-going life,” Mortenson said.