Chesterton Tribune



PCSP Patrolman Rollie Sanders retires

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For better than a quarter of a century, Duneland’s own Rollie Sanders has been keeping the peace in Porter County, plugging away in his squad car, putting the miles behind him.

On Tuesday, Sanders pulled the pin, after 24 years with the Porter County Sheriff’s Police and 31 in local enforcement. It was, for him, the right time. “I wasn’t forced out by the department or the doctors,” he says. “I’m going out on my own terms.”

Sanders grew up in Liberty Township, graduated CHS in ‘74, got his first billet in law enforcement at the jail, then joined the Chesterton PD, and finally found a home at the PCSP. His whole career he worked as a patrolman. “I like people,” he says. “I’m a people person. You see more people on the road. It’s something different every five minutes. You may go from an accident to a traffic stop to helping someone. You never know. I’ve done everything from giving tickets to working murder cases.”

His best call ever?

“Getting shot at,” Sanders says. “I made a traffic stop and the guy decided to take off and in the chase he shot at me. Hit my car. He ended up in a swamp, nowhere to go. We just waited him out. Five hours later he comes walking out, gives himself up.”

The worst call?

Christmas Eve, years ago, while he was still with the CPD: a five-fatality accident on I-94.

It’s been a good run, Sanders has done his bit to serve and protect, and he’s proud of his mileage, but he doesn’t mind telling you: he’s tired and the job isn’t what it once was. “It’s gotten tougher. It’s not as fun as it used to be. There’s more paperwork. There’s less time behind the wheel. And people have changed. They’re not as respectful. When I was a kid, cops got some respect. Now it’s like Who the hell are you? It’s just totally changed. I can’t really describe it.”

Sanders’ plans, now that there’s no clock to punch? A resident of Westchester Township and a member of the Sons of the American Legion, he’s looking for ways to become more active in the life of Duneland and “give back to the community.”

More than anything else, though, Sanders wants to stay close to home. “I’m going to enjoy my life and my four grandkids.” His own children, twin daughters and a son, all served in the U.S. Army--his boy came home last summer from a tour overseas--and the way Sanders looks at it, it’s not his world anymore, it’s theirs. It’s his children’s generation’s world.

“It was time for me to retire,” he says. “It’s time for the kids to shine. And I’m no kid anymore. It’s time for the kids to take over.”




Posted 4/11/2014