Commissioners, city bid officer Taylor fond goodbye

CLEWISTON — City commissioners and staff roundly applauded one of Clewiston’s own on Monday night, Nov. 5, in marking his retirement.

“We’re so happy to recognize the retirement, for his happiness and well-being as a family, of our Clewiston police officer Julius Taylor!” said Mayor Mali Gardner in calling him and family members to the dais.

“As Julius and Jeannie come forward, I met Julius many, many moons ago when he actually worked at the sheriff’s department, and I tell you this man has a heart for our community, for service, for law enforcement and, most of all, for his family,” the mayor stated. “His abiding love for his wife and his children has been an example to many who have known them, and so we’re so thankful for them, knowing that their next season of life begins, and many, many more happy days.”

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/City of Clewiston
Assistant Police Chief Marci ‘D’Huynslager presents retiring police officer Julius Taylor with an inscribed crystal marker to recognize his years of service to the Clewiston Police Department.

Commissioner Kristine Petersen commended him, saying, “You’ve had an impact on a lot of people.” Then she told a story about when she first joined the sheriff’s office and went on the road.

“You were kind enough to take me under your wing, and have me apply the steps appropriately for traffic stops, and it was from you that I learned how to give someone a traffic ticket and have them say ‘Thank you!’ to me when I was done, and I always appreciated that! I thank you,” Ms. Petersen said.

She now teaches in Clewiston High School’s Public Safety Academy, where she passes along inherited real-life lessons like that. “I’ve never forgotten it,” Commissioner Petersen added.

Mayor Gardner said she always looked forward to seeing officer Taylor driving his patrol car through town, smiling at everyone and waving hello. “Such a wonderful example. You know you’ll be missed, but I know I’ll see you in the community. We’re so thankful for your service to the City of Clewiston,” she told Mr. Taylor.

He had a few remarks. “I appreciate the time I spent here in the City of Clewiston, 12 years,” he said. Officer Taylor also served with the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years. “I’m going to miss it, but it was just my time,” Mr. Taylor said, adding that he would miss all “my brothers” on the police force.

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