As the world celebrates the end of another year, police officers in West Norriton Township gathered to celebrate the end of an era for two local heroes. West Norriton Police Chief Robert Adams said goodbye after serving 39 years on the force. Sergeant Joe Hallman also bid his fellow officers farewell after working with the department for 42 years. The police force saluted Chief Adams and Sergeant Hallman before escorting them to work on Monday, their last day of the job.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of West Norriton Township,” said Chief Adams.
At 25-years-old, Adams was a highly paid executive at a local dairy company. He gave it all up however when he heard West Norriton Township was looking to fill vacancies in the police department.
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“This was a job that I wanted most of my life,” said Chief Adams. “When the opportunity presented itself I went after it and was fortunate enough to get it.”
Adams said goodbye to the corporate life and the paycheck that came along with it.
“I took the $2,000 pay cut,” said Chief Adams. “Had it not been for the support of my wife I wouldn’t have done this.”
Like Adams, Hallman also earned less than $5 an hour when he first started the job.
“I remembered the day came where we actually made $10,000 a year,” said Sergeant Hallman. “I thought, ‘oh my God, I’m on top of the world.’”
Adams, a Philadelphia native, tells NBC10 it was during the first weeks on the new job when he wondered what he had gotten himself into.
“My first partner and I were chasing horses and cows off the roadway,” said Chief Adams.
Hallman, who was cited for bravery, doesn’t talk too much about the dangers of the job. Instead he’d rather tell you about the time he assisted a couple who were having a baby and couldn’t make it to the hospital.
“I almost delivered a baby,” said Hallman. “It didn’t bother me at all just to stand back and let everybody do their jobs.”
Adams also says there are cases that he’ll never forget.
“I had a couple of cases that didn’t get solved,” said Chief Adams. “One in particular, I’ll take to my grave.”
Adams was promoted to police chief 13 years ago. During his tenure, he hired more than half the force that will continue to serve West Norriton Township without him. During his last day, Adams performed one of his final duties. He swore in the township’s new police chief and said goodbye to all the friends he has made.
Both men vowed to never forget the people who served along their side over the years.
“My shift ends today,” said Hallman. “I’m going to be thinking and praying for these guys every day. That when they come in, they’ll get to go home and see their wives and families again.”