XENIA — Tim Roop became philosophical when he decided to retire from the Xenia Police Division.
Following in the footsteps of Cincinnatus, whose legend says he held onto his supreme power “for not a day longer than absolutely necessary,” Roop knew exactly when to call it quits.
“I answered calls for service for 25 years and became eligible to retire,” he said. “I realized that is a good time for me to step away and allow another person the opportunity to serve.”
That time was Dec. 26, when Roop fired up his patrol car for the last time as a member of XPD.
”This job takes a toll on a person and I am no exception to that,” Roop said. “I have grown tired. But I am leaving with a grateful heart. Thirty years ago, I arrived in this community as a stranger to attend college. I am grateful that I had a full career as a police officer here and now know thousands of people in this community. I am grateful that I was able to be the one who helped others in their time of need.”
Roop leaves law enforcement at a time when its under scrutiny weekly, if not daily. But he has not let that bother him, especially when he was in the final countdown of his career.
”As a police officer, we are constantly in negative situations,” Roop said. “It is easy to become soured and cynical. About a year ago when I knew I was going into my last year, I made the decision to be grateful. I chose to go out with a positive mindset, not a negative one. The last several years have been difficult on law enforcement on a national level. Many blame the police for society’s problems. But the people in Xenia have been supportive; they have shown their appreciation in word and deed. The people of Xenia have made it easier to endure.”
It is those people Roop said he will miss and remember the most as he steps away.
“I hope to remember the kindness that people have extended to me while on the job,” Roop said. “As I reflect, I do not wonder if I made a difference or if I had a positive impact, because the community has reminded me that I have. One of the greatest compliments ever paid to me was from a lady on East Market Street. I stopped one day and asked her what was happening. She answered, ‘You.’ I asked how could that be and she replied, ‘Because you just radiate goodness.’ People have been reminding me lately that I have made a difference in their lives.”
That’s why Roop chose this career path, which he called the “dream of my youth.” He wanted to help others.
“I am grateful that I made a positive difference in people’s lives,” Roop said. “I know that God purposely had me on duty at certain times to be the officer to respond to particular calls.”
Roop received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Cedarville College and later graduated with a master’s degree in criminal justice from Tiffin University. Before starting his career with the Xenia Police Division, Roop served as a security officer for Cedarville College for four years.
During his career in Xenia, Roop served as a BAC operator, school resource officer, and as a member of the Crash Response Team. Roop received many commendations recognizing his professional conduct and performance throughout his career. In 2013 he received the Life Saving Commendation for his response and assistance to a call resulting in another life saved. Roop was the recipient of the Neighborhood Beautification Award in 2003 for the highest level of activity to clean up his assigned district. In 1997 he received the Silver Shield Award, which recognized him for the highest level of activity.
“The Xenia Police Division is successful because we encourage officers to use their passions in their work where possible,” Chief Randy Person said. “Officer Roop has always been passionate about accident reconstruction and more importantly being an ambassador to the business community and a friend/mentor to the children in the schools. Tim’s talents in these areas will be missed.”
There will be an open house from 2-6 p.m. at the Greene County FOP Lodge #37 on Dayton Avenue Thursday, Jan. 9. Roop said the entire community is invited.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.