GREENFIELD — Terry Dixon never minded the stereotype.
For more years than his colleagues like to admit, he showed up to work every morning at the Greenfield Police Department with a box of doughnuts to share.
This fall, Dixon, 60, is retiring after 33 years with the department. And the colleagues who feel more like family say they’ll miss more than just his daily delivery of sweets.
Lt. Bob Young, who joined the department as a reserve officer in 1976 and became full time in 1980, worked with Dixon his entire career.
From the outset, Dixon, who will retire at the rank of lieutenant, showed dedication not only to his profession but to the community he served, Young said.
“He gave a lot of time for free, to be honest with you,” he said. “As an active officer, back then, we didn’t have paid overtime. He would come in and work and wanted to learn.”
Most recently, he worked in information technology, but over the past three decades, there is little Dixon hasn’t been part of at the department.
He began his career at GPD in 1981 after a year as a reserve officer. He moved up the ranks as a patrol officer until 1999, when he moved into administration to oversee the evidence room.
He dabbled in photography and took courses at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy that helped him apply his hobby to law enforcement. He passed what he learned about photographing crash scenes and evidence to other officers.
Those interactions with colleagues are what Dixon says he’ll miss most.
“I’m going to miss the officers that I worked with, that’s the number one thing,” he said. “They’re all good people. They lay their lives on the line every day for the citizens.”
Dixon’s enthusiasm for public safety is something he passed on to both his children, David and Jeff.
David heads the security team at Keihin Indiana Precision Technology. Jeff works as a reserve sheriff’s deputy and full-time firefighter.
Jeff Dixon knew from an early age he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“Growing up with my dad being a police officer and just seeing how police officers help people, …it was always something that made me be like, ‘I want to continue the tradition in the family,’” he said.
An officer’s experience after 33 years on the job would be appreciated at any department. But a commitment to staying in the same city for all that time is especially valuable to members of the public, Police Chief John Jester said.
“They get to know him,” he said. “I think they’re more apt to approach an officer that they know.”
While Dixon’s official retirement date isn’t until Oct. 17, he has enough vacation time stockpiled to say his goodbyes early.
Dixon has already moved to Louisville with his longtime girlfriend and is enjoying all the city has to offer.
“It’s going to be hard to pry me out of Louisville, Kentucky,” he said. “This place is beautiful.”
But don’t take his contentment as a sign of slowing down to live the easy life. Dixon has moved on from law enforcement, but he’s not about to stop working yet. He and his girlfriend work together for a moving company and enjoy keeping busy.
“I will never retire,” he said.
While Dixon has moved on to a new career, he’ll always have a heart for police work, and especially those at GPD.
“I love that department,” he said. “I spent over half of my life in that department. It’s been a good career.”