Four women with a combined 97 years of experience working for the Lodi Police Department and city of Lodi celebrated their impending retirements on Wednesday afternoon.
Family, friends, coworkers and loved ones crowded into the Lodi Police Department Community Room to congratulate Sandy Meyers, Margie Martin, Debbie Hammonds and Susan Mora on their achievements.
The post-work plans differ for each woman — one wants to win big at blackjack while another wants to see the country — but each said they’re excited for the next phase of their lives.
While part-time employment is in the future plans for one, all of them said they would enjoy being able to set their own schedule and have more time for their families and themselves.
Career length: 31 years.
Position: Meyers started with the Lodi Police Department’s records division before being promoted to chief secretary in 1985. She has worked with five police chiefs and two interim chiefs during her tenure at the position.
Plans: Meyers has a husband and eight grandchildren she looks forward to spending more time with. One of her favorite ways to unwind is to create greeting cards with her friends. The group, Stampin’ Up, is an organization of scrapbookers, craft enthusiasts and stamp collectors who sell their products privately. Meyers said she plans to go to stamp shows and related events during her retirement.
While she wants to continue to improve her skills with arts, crafts and photography, Meyers is also eagerly awaiting the chance to relax.
“I will enjoy being in my home, gardening and being in the pool,” she said.
What will she miss? “I will miss the people; my coworkers are like family. I have spent a lot of my life here.”
What won’t she miss? “I will not miss the mounds of paperwork. I thought we were supposed to be living in a paperless society. I’m not seeing it.”
Career length: 26 years.
Position: Martin started as a crime analyst clerk before moving to the records division. She was the operations secretary for 18 years before becoming the courts liaison for the records division.
Plans: An avid outdoor enthusiast, Martin plans to take several camping trips in the coming years.
Martin, her husband and some family will be driving to Gold Beach, Ore. in the coming days. The area is located near the Pacific Ocean and is peaceful, Martin said.
What will she miss? “I’m going to miss the people. I’ve been here so long, they’ve all become like family. Even today, you see a lot of people at the party who are retired themselves but came by to say ‘hi.’”
What won’t she miss? “I won’t miss being up at 5 a.m. to be ready for work.”
Career length: 22 years.
Position: Dispatch supervisor.
Plans: Hammonds has a risky edge to her and enjoys gambling.
“I prefer the slots to anything else, but I always lose, so I have to switch to blackjack,” she said.
Hammonds is planning on visiting Las Vegas next year as part of a large family celebration. The trip will honor her granddaughter’s 21st birthday, her daughter’s 40th birthday and her companion — Dan Randolph’s — 60th birthday.
Hammonds also wants to take her grandchildren to Disneyland during her retirement.
While she is retiring, Hammonds will work on a part-time basis as a court liaison.
What will she miss: “I will miss the way the work keeps me busy. Of course, I will also miss the people I work with.”
What she won’t miss: “I’m not going to miss the 12-hour days.”
Career length: 18 years (15 with the city of Lodi, three with the police).
Position: Code enforcement.
Plans: Six years ago Mora and her husband, Danny Mora, purchased a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. The couple plans to drive it across the country (including the iconic Route 66) during a trip next year.
The Twin Cities resident is also looking forward to doing more entertaining in their renovated backyard. They recently installed an outdoor kitchen and fire pit, and Mora said she was looking forward to showing it off to friends and family.
What will she miss: “I will miss my extremely talented coworkers. We’ve basically raised kids and grandkids together. They’ve been part of my life for years. I’ll also miss people saying ‘thank you’ when we get rid of some neighborhood nuisance they called about.”
What won’t she miss? “I won’t miss dealing with the angry people. I’d say about 90 percent of the phone calls I’d receive were people upset about a code enforcement issue.”