EDITORIAL: An honorable send-off

— In a ceremony that sent chills down our spine, the Camillus Police Department honored one of their own last week.

The department came together in a ceremony to showcase the retirement of Officer Dennis Welch, “one of the good guys,” as Chief Tom Winn put it.

"He's the type of police officer that every community wished they had," Winn said.

The department organized a ceremony that showed the utmost respect to Welch — a tradition they have for all retiring officers. Welch, a 13-year-veteran of the force is retiring after a head injury in a work-related incident in 2010.

Welch and his family were lead through the processional, stopping and chatting with each person there to support his retirement.

Representatives, and friends, from WAVES Ambulance, the Fairmount and Camillus fire departments, Geddes Police, town employees, town board members, Town Supervisor Mary Ann Coogan and Syracuse Police lead Welch to the end of the procession. Meeting him there were two, single-file lines of saluting police officers, capped by Captain Steve Rotunno and Chief Winn.

Welch went person-by-person, hugging each and talking for a moment, cherishing his last day as a Camillus officer. At the row’s end, Welch was taken to a waiting squad car as he left the police station for the last time as an officer. His children joined him, as the car pulled between fire trucks and ambulances, all in the town hall parking lot to show appreciation for Welch’s dedication to the police department.

We wish Officer Welch well on his journey, and hope for nothing but the best in his future. We commend the Camillus Police Department for showing us, truly, what it means to serve, protect and honor.

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