In the Spotlight: Community cop retires
by Denise Ellen Rizzo / Tracy Press
Mar 29, 2012 | 2929 views | 2 2 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Irene Rose is retiring from Tracy Police Department, where she has worked with programs from Neighborhood Watch to Volunteers in Police Service since joining the force in the 1980s. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Irene Rose is retiring from Tracy Police Department, where she has worked with programs from Neighborhood Watch to Volunteers in Police Service since joining the force in the 1980s. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
It’s been 26 years since Irene Rose began working at the Tracy Police Department and today, March 30, she will put the finish on her police career.

That career began when the mother of three attended college and the local police academy in the early 1980s. She said she applied to Tracy Police Department at the urging of academy classmate Dave McClanahan, a Tracy officer, and it didn’t take long for officials to scoop her up.

Rose spent five years as one of the Tracy Police Department’s reserve officers. She said the fun part of the job was making arrests and preventing crime.

“We’re a safe community compared to all the communities around us, and I’m a part of that,” she said. “I like helping people the most — to be the ‘go-to person’ people call.”

In 1993, she said, her career took a turn for the better when she became a community service officer, a position she remained in for nearly 20 years. As CSO, Rose was the veteran among her peers, gathering information to help officers and solve crimes.

“Taking (police) reports, doing investigation work, getting fingerprints and putting the puzzle together,” she said. “You can do a lot, or you can do a little … I did a lot.”

Today, she will conclude her final day at work in the position of crime prevention specialist, which she began nine years ago.

“My mother used to say I always wanted to be a police woman when I was a little girl,” Rose said, but it wasn’t until a ride-along with a Berkeley officer — her future brother-in-law — that Rose made her final decision.

“It was a 12-hour shift, and I stayed the whole time,” she said. “I could have done another 12. I was so jazzed. It was like oxygen to my blood.”

One of the highlights to her career at Tracy Police Department was taking the helm of the senior volunteer team, Volunteers In Police Service. In addition to educating, training and supervising the group, Rose expanded her original 10 volunteers to a team of 23, with 11 more joining in May.

The list of VIPS duties includes helping officers at public events and crime scenes and handling downtown eyes-and-ears patrols, making the members among the most visible volunteer groups in the community.

“Those are my wonderful VIPS, and they are the best in the country,” Rose said.

Officials said Rose, always looking for new ways to help others, had been a welcome asset to the police department.

“She has been the face of crime prevention over the last two decades here,” Chief Gary Hampton said. “She is a fixture in this organization, and she doesn’t approach issues as problems — she approaches them as opportunities. She contributed a great deal to this department and served the community to the highest degree. She will be missed.”

After acting as her supervisor for many years, Lt. Dave Sant described Rose as a constant joy.

“She is always upbeat, always willing to help, always with a can-do attitude,” Sant said. “When we started the VIPS, she caused that program to flourish. She did a wonderful job with the Citizens Academy, Neighborhood Watch and National Night Out. So many little things she has done; when you put them all together, it’s significant.”

When asked why she is retiring now, Rose said, jokingly, “I love my husband more than my job.”

Married 45 years, she said she wanted to spend more time with her husband and their three children, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandson, and travel around the world.

“Yeah, I’m going to miss the (police) people a lot,” she said. “That is my family. They love me like I’m their sister, and I love them like they are my brothers and sisters. It’s hard to leave, but the time is right. I’ve got a lot of living to do, and I want to do it with my family.”
Comments-icon Post a Comment
April 02, 2012
I worked with Irene years ago when my old neighborhood began the neighborhood watch program. It was clear to me that she loved her job and believed in what she was doing. Though the community is losing a wonderful asset, she truly has earned this time to spend with her family. Good luck to you and your family Irene.

B. Lopez
March 30, 2012
Officer Rose...your work is truly appreciated. CSO's and VIP's provide officers the ability to get more done without being taken out of commission on calls that they might not be critical to...but someone needs to answer.

I hope your retirement is as rewarding as your career...enjoy it! :-)

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