They say if you don’t do what you love, you will never love what you do, and for two of the Lincoln City Police Department’s finest that love for law enforcement has blossomed into 30 and 35 years of service.
At the June 10 City Council meeting, the council took a moment to recognize two men, who were given a certificate of appreciation for their service. Detective Charles ‘Bud’ Lane was one of them, serving 30 years with the LCPD and 911 dispatcher Mark Hopkins was the other, for 35 years of service as both a patrol sergeant and dispatcher.
LCPD Chief Jerry Palmer presented the pair with a plaque and spoke a few words about each of them.
Lane began his career in June of 1989 and within three years, he was promoted to LCPD detective, which Palmer said makes him one of the most experienced on his crew.
“What is remarkable is that all that time, he's still working as hard as he did the first day,” Palmer said. “He's mentoring two of our newest detectives and he does anything that he's asked to do, above and beyond the stuff that he does for work.”
Lane is also the lead on the LCPD major crimes team, working closely with federal and state partners around the state. With all the experience, Lane has become a fountain of knowledge for others at the LCPD.
“He shares his expertise with all of our crew,” Palmer said. “If they have questions on how to conduct search warrants, investigations, interview people… he's the go-to guy. He’s just a remarkable employee that makes my job easier.”
Over 30 years, Lane said he has seen a whole lot of change in Lincoln City and mostly for the better.
“I've seen a lot of improvements in the city itself,” Lane said. “If anyone was here two years ago and you go down 101, you’d see all the vacant buildings, depleted buildings, so business and industry has been a major change.
“Our case load has also changed. When I started, I would do bad check cases because there was not a lot to do. But those days are gone it's a lot more person crimes. It's been quite a change, but it's been amazing to see.”
In 1980, Hopkins joined the LCPD after already serving three years as a police officer in California. Her served the LCPD as a sergeant until retiring in 2007. But four years later, Hopkins felt the urge to get back to serving his community.
“In 2011, I don't know if the bug was biting him or if he just was getting bored, but he decided to apply for a 911 dispatcher position, and obviously was successful in doing that,” Palmer said. “Mark is another one of those examples where the state has put rules in place that allows rural agencies like ours to tap into the veterans skills across the state.”
Hopkins said it was an unusual and unexpected way for his career to go, but has enjoyed learning a new set of complexities in law enforcement. In doing so, Hopkins has excelled in adjusting according to Palmer.
“He served on patrol and us guys from patrol have a distinct idea of what dispatch is, so bringing him into that environment, and then educating him and him being successful in taking on the amount of technology that is built into those systems… being able to do that is a great feat in it of itself,” Palmer said.
For Hopkins, that transition has been made easier thanks to the coworkers at the 911 dispatch.
“My colleagues are truly amazing,” Hopkins said. “You guys are lucky to have them to keep you all safe.
“It’s a little different being on the other side of the radio, but I am pleased to bring some of what I know from my previous work to this profession.”
And that sentiment has reigned true for the entire LCPD.
“We have enjoyed the opportunity to have a person that knows the history or our town, knows the history of our department and has the skill set that he brought from the street, both as a patrol car and the supervisor to our dispatch crew,” Palmer said.