Sallisaw Police Lt. Sandy Girdner was honored on her retirement Wednesday at a reception held at the Sallisaw Civic Center. The reception was sponsored by the police department and her Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) lodge. Above, Sallisaw Police Chief Terry Franklin and Girdner show the cake served to her co-workers, relatives, friends and guests. FOP members presented Girdner with her police uniform blouse, framed. Franklin presented Girdner with a plaque, her badge, and her service weapon, engraved with her name and years of service, from December 1995 to December 2014. "This is your day," Franklin told her. "You can do anything you want."
Girdner, who is undergoing cancer treatment, told the crowd, "This is bittersweet. At this time in my life, I can't be an officer, but I can support you." Voice breaking, she continued, "It's been a ride. It's been a ride. I love you all. If you ever need me, you know where I am."
Girdner was hired by now retired Police Chief Wayne Craighead, and served her first three years as a civilian employee with the police department, then 19 years as a full time police officer. She concluded her career as a lieutenant in the detective division, where she specialized "in everything," especially domestic issues such as child and sexual abuse. She was a vocal spokesperson for victims, and worked throughout the community against such abuse. Girdner said she will be spending time now "with my kids and my family. I feel good. I've been blessed beyond belief."
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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