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Lodi honors retired police officers

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Posted: Friday, March 23, 2001 10:00 pm

Before a crowd of more than 200 family members, friends and fellow officers, the Lodi Police Department paid tribute to five of its own Friday.

Retirees Lt. Bruce McDaniel, Lt. Garold Murray, Lt. James Schick, Officer Harry Webb and Sgt. Conrad Hunziker were honored at a dinner at Hutchins Street Square.

All five retired last year.

Cumulatively, they represent more than 120 years of police experience.

And Friday, through tears over camaraderie and laughter over inside jokes, the five retirees reflected on those years of civil service.

In his speech, McDaniel said he could also count on fellow officers to take care of his family and to protect him while on the street.

“Find another job where you can do that,” he said. “I can’t believe they paid me to do it.”

At the ceremony, the various city police associations bestowed gifts such as shadow boxes timelining each officer’s career with badges and awards.

Mayor Alan Nakanishi, and council members Susan Hitchcock and Emily Howard were among those who attended Friday’s dinner.

In addition to a proclamation from the city, each retiree received a certificate for their service from John Beckman of Assemblyman Anthony Pescetti’s office on behalf of the state.

McDaniel, who joined the department in 1973 after transferring from the county sheriff’s office, served as a patrol officer and then a detective before being promoted to sergeant in 1980 and lieutenant in 1983. He is also an FBI academy graduate.

He was a charter member and first commander of the department’s SWAT team. He also served as a watch commander and an administrative lieutenant.

McDaniel, who was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve for more than 20 years, retired Dec. 30.

Murray, who started with the department in 1971, retired in July. He was a patrol officer and detective before moving on to work as a training officer where he trained between 30 and 35 officers.

He was also a charter member of the traffic bureau as one of the first two motorcycle officers.

In 1988, Murray was promoted to sergeant and then to lieutenant in 1989 where he worked as a watch commander and supervised both the detective bureau and bomb squad.

Schick, a Vietnam veteran, joined the department in 1974 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He, too, was promoted from assignments as a patrol officer and detective to sergeant in 1988 and lieutenant the following year.

As a watch commander and detective supervisor, Schick was responsible for forming and administering the department’s chaplain program and supervising the canine unit. He retired in August.

Webb, who also retired in August, was hired by the department in 1971 after serving as a reserve officer with the San Jose Police Department and as a member of the U.S. Army.

He worked as a patrol officer and detective, and was a charter member of the canine unit. He also served as the unit’s training officer and was on the board of the Western Police K-9 Association.

In later years, Webb was the founding member of the mounted unit.

Hunziker joined the department in 1985 at age 34 after previously serving as a reserve officer for the Los Angeles Police Department.

In Lodi, he worked as a patrol officer, a field training officer and a SWAT Team member before being promoted to sergeant in 1989. He also served with the LPD Honor Guard and as the supervisor of the canine team.

Before retiring in September, Hunziker served for 11 years as a field supervisor and watch commander. A police Olympic gold medalist, he was also involved in the United Way and Special Olympics.

“In the private sector you have good days and bad days, but with the Lodi Police Department I never had a bad day,” Hunziker said Friday. “I loved coming to work.”

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