Emotional farewell for longtime SAPD sergeant

Tears filled the eyes of spectators in the room when now retired San Angelo Police Department Sgt. Todd Dornhecker took the stage to thank everyone for attending his retirement ceremony Tuesday morning.

Members from the police department, the San Angelo Fire Department and the community attended to honor Dornhecker and his more than 20 years with the SAPD.

One-by-one, they gave a speech for him, thanking him for who he is as a person and what he has done for the department throughout the years.

“I am so grateful for them arranging this ceremony for me. I took the job with the San Angelo Police Department when I was 21 years old in 1996, and I retired after a little more than 20 years in this department,” Dornhecker said.

“I stayed in this town because I liked the dynamic of the town. I liked the fact that it is a big-small town that offered so many opportunities to raise our daughter. I had only been here twice to visit the rodeo in San Angelo before I decided to take the position and make it our home,” he said.

Dornhecker’s motto, he said, is if he died tomorrow, he would have many people attending his funeral because he had treated people right and done right by everyone.

“I think if you treat people with respect and dignity then you will get it back. I never acted as a judge or jury out on the streets. I understand that people have rough times in their lives and we always try to address that. I believe in humanity, and I believe that there is good in everyone, you just try to find it,” Dornhecker said.

Dornhecker also said that everyone who was at the ceremony has been a part of his life in one way or the other and that it has been a very emotional day, with all the personal stories being told.

“They don’t make men like Todd anymore. He will be missed,” said SAPD Officer Tracy Gonzalez.

Following the retirement ceremony, there was a promotional ceremony for Cory Moore, promoting him to sergeant.

“I have been with the department for 10 years and I have lived in San Angelo for quite a while before that. I stayed with San Angelo Police Department because I wanted to help the community that I live in. I am looking forward to learn this new job, and to try to do the best job I can with it,” Moore said.

Dornhecker offered the following advice to the new sergeant, “remember where you came from, treat people like you want to be treated and get to know your guys. Everybody has a story.”

“Todd is a great man. I hope that I am half the sergeant than he is,” Moore said.