Derek Dieter talks about career with the South Bend Police Depar - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Derek Dieter talks about career with the South Bend Police Department


Working at the same place - every day - for 39 years is rare these days, but that's what a South Bend Common Councilman can say about his day job.

Derek Dieter recently retired from the South Bend Police Department. He began his career there as a cadet in 1975 while he got his degree in Criminal Justice. He was officially sworn in back in 1978.

"I spent all my time out on the street," he says. "I'm not an indoor,  paper shuffle kind of person. So it's been all out in the street doing real police work. So I'm proud of the fact I've done that my whole career."

Dieter has collected more than 200 pages of memories during his time on the force. From hostage rescues to chases and fights, to shootouts, Dieter says it's tough to pick one specific memory over the past three decades that stands out most. "It's just the culmination of thousands and thousands of calls that you start talking about one and it rolls into another," he says.

So, what is he probably most proud of? Simply being able to survive the job. "I was in five different shootouts in my career. Two were SWAT-related and there were at least two other times that I found out someone was within ten feet, ready to shoot me," says Dieter.
Dieter says it's a tough job with a lot of pressure. "If we make a mistake, you could be killed, or your partner could be killed, someone on the street. So you carry that around with you," says Dieter.

That being said, Dieter says he's enjoyed being out in the community every day, earning the trust of the people in South Bend and taking down the criminals. "Chasing bad guys. That's one of my favorite things that I've ever wanted to do to this day. Chase them down, and lock up the bad people," he says.

Dieter says he decided three years ago that he'd retire and use the money to help his kids pay for college. He says there's no way he can just sit around and do nothing. He says he'll take a couple months and then figure out what else he's going to take up. He says he will still continue to do security at Coveleski Stadium.



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