Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Flashing lights and sirens Wednesday highlighted a traditional farewell for police retirees, but this time the event was unique.
A crowd of about 50 officers and well-wishers gathered to await Captain Siddeeq El-Amin's exit from police headquarters. One of three captains faced with demotion to lieutenant for budgetary reasons, El-Amin decided to forego a planned terminal leave and go out as a captain rather than take the demotion.
Plaintalker reported on El-Amin's decision earlier this year and recounted highlights of his 30 years with the Plainfield Police Division.
As people applauded and recorded the event, El-Amin began a round of farewell handshakes and hugs with Emergency Management official Sheldon Green.
Captain Ruth Selzam, one of three who will remain at that rank, gets a big hug as Captain Steven Soltys looks on. Soltys and Captain Edward Santiago (the division's last police chief before the title was abolished) are the other two remaining captains.
Asked whether he will be doing teaching, consulting or other law-enforcement related activities in retirement, El-Amin said, "All of the above." He is also on the board of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).