Rockford Lieutenant retiring after more than three decades in service

Behind the Badge

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Lieutenant Walter Felton has worked for the Rockford Police Department for more than three decades, now he plans to enjoy his retirement.

“See ya get out the door now,” Lt. Felton jokingly said that is how his co-workers feel about him leaving.

After 31 years of service, August 7th was Felton’s last day.

Many of Felton’s friends gathered at District One to say goodbye.

“There’s been a good deal of trepidation that this has been my routine for 31 years. So I’m sure I’ll be fine but not having a specific thing to do for 5 or 6 or 7 days a week is going to be a bit of change,” Felton said.

Felton’s retirement might be a little hard for him to get used to since he was exposed to law enforcement at a young age.

He was the first person in his family to join the force after the influence from a family friend sparked his interest.

“My dad knew some policemen when I was growing up. One of them probably gave me some sort of portent because he gave me a print kit and a photo enlarger when I was like 11 or 12 and I eventually ended up in the ID unit,” Felton said.

The most important reason Felton decided to join the force was because “everybody in their interview says ‘I want this job because I want to help people’, but it’s actually the truth.”

During his time at the department, it was very important for Felton to help, especially the kids in the community.

“My time in the youth unit, those are victims that most times can’t speak for themselves,” Felton said. “So the opportunity to help those kids in particular was very gratifying.”

That help also extended to his fellow officers.

“I nurtured some detectives when I was a detective in the ID unit and most recently as a patrol lieutenant so I think that has given me the opportunity to, I hope, mold the face of the department a bit,” Felton said.

Felton says he will definitely miss the people he’s worked with over the years.

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