Many begin their working lives thinking that retirement is the brass ring at the end of a long journey.
But many reach this milestone and find it instead to be bittersweet.
So it was for Chris Murray, a former constable with the Norfolk OPP who retired after a 30-year career at the end of May.
West Region OPP’s media department captured the final, emotional moments of Murray’s service as he signed off over the radio and hung up his badge (No. 11160). The video was posted to Twitter and has gone viral.
“Just emotional here,” Murray says over the radio to dispatch. “Going to go 10-7 for my career so I just want to put it out to all the units that I had a good run for 30 years; thanks very much for all the safety, and looking and keeping my back safe.
“I’m going to miss everybody and all my co-workers. It’s a tough day. I’m going to miss you all so much.”
As of June 4, the Tweet and accompanying video have been retweeted 239 times and have registered 988 likes. The video has been viewed more than 31,000 times.
A lot of preparation went into the video. After Murray says his goodbyes, the camera cuts to his family, including son Brent, 20, and daughter Kayla, 23, who are in a different location in another vehicle.
“He served the people of Ontario with pride, professionalism and leadership,” his daughter says over a radio to her father’s cruiser. “You have helped countless people in their darkest times and you will never be forgotten.”
Murray’s son adds “Hey Dad, our entire family is very proud of you and what you have accomplished. It is time to come home. Dad – you are officially 10-7.”
(“10-7” is radio communication shorthand for “out of service”).
The video ends with an unidentified officer saying over the radio “I hear retirement is a pressure cooker. Be careful and have fun.”
That was an inside joke because Murray often described a busy shift to his colleagues as “a real pressure cooker.”
Murray is a native of London. From 1989 till 2002, he served with the Halton Regional Police.
Around 2002, Murray grew tired of watching his wife commute by train every day to her job in Toronto. Murray noticed that the Oakville and Burlington area was growing rapidly so he spoke to his partner about moving to a quieter location to raise their family.
Murray said the OPP welcomed him with open arms and gave him the choice of working in Cayuga or Simcoe. The family chose the latter and they have never looked back.
“I didn’t make a mistake at all,” Murray said. “The quality of life since I moved her in ‘02 has been stellar. The people are just awesome. No rat race around here.”
Murray will take the summer off to relax. In the fall, he will explore the possibility of part-time work with the OPP in court security or the prisoner transport division.
The video was posted by West Region OPP in London.