“I loved it, it was fun. Someone said would you do it again? Yes, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.” Those are the words of Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Captain Gerald Schmidt, who was recognized during a reception at the Justice Center Tuesday afternoon.
Schmidt admitted to a lot of emotions as he leaves law enforcement following more than 40 years of service. He said he was a little sad but it was good to see the people from a variety of different law enforcement agencies and groups at his reception, including Pottawatomie County, Wamego, Riley County, Kansas State University, and KBI.
Schmidt was a first time sworn police officer in the mid ’70’s as a city officer in Manhattan, prior to the consolidation of the Riley County Police Department.
35 of his years were in Pottawatomie County.
But he stresses he’s not really saying good-bye as he will remain in the area–maybe still ride along with his son who is with the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Department or visit his KBI friends.
Schmidt says he always had an ability to talk to almost anyone–even the suspects,by telling them the Good Lord is the only one who is perfect. And that led to solving cases, but also to respect from those suspects.
Schmidt says he plans to travel some to see family, but likely will stay close to his home in Wamego, with children and grandchildren in the area.
Pottawatomie County Sheriff Greg Riat has worked with Captain Gerald Schmidt for 25 years. The Sheriff has nothing but praise for the retiring Captain, adding Schmidt was well-liked by a lot of folks…
And Riat says Schmidt has promised he’s only a phone call away–and the Sheriff plans to take advantage of that offer if needed. The Sheriff says it was a real privelige to work with Schmidt, saying he can’t say enough good things about him and what he’s done for the county and community.
Wamego Assistant Police Chief Paul Schliffke was also at the reception, but had told KMAN in an earlier interview he worked several years with Schmidt and praises the legacy he’s leaving in law enforcement, with all of the officers he brought along…
Schliffke adds decisions made by law enforcement officials aren’t always popular–and very seldom is a decision in any investigation going to please anybody–but he says Schmidt always handled such cases with the public in mind, doing the right things for the right reasons.