SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KCAU) – After 40 years on the South Sioux City Police Department, Lieutenant Chris Chernock has said his goodbyes.
Lt. Chernock became one of the youngest officers ever hired by the department at just 21 years old. He said his time at the department never really felt like work.
“Thank you for taking me into this community when I first got here. I was not from South Sioux. I had spent very little time over here and over the years, this has become my town. This is where I’m from. I’m just totally blown away by the fact that this is happening.” Chernock said.
Since 1980, Lt. Chernock has worn many hats. From a patrol officer, to sergeant, to creating new programs in the community.
His colleagues, who have been alongside him through it all, say it won’t be the same without him.
“You hear the term bittersweet, and it is. I’m so excited for him. I know how hard he’s worked, and I know the next stage will be good and great for him. But, he’s been a fixture here. He’s been here ever since I’ve been here, and now he’s gone. I’m not looking forward to that,” Ed Mahon, South Sioux City Chief of Police, said.
“Forty years is a long time, and what I can tell you about Chris is he’ll give you the shirt off his back. You know, there’s been times I’ve struggled with issues, he’s been there for me. He’s been a loyal friend, and I just can’t say enough good things about him. We’ll be friends forever,” Lt. Doug Adams, South Sioux City, said.
Lt. Chernock said after moving his entire life, he’s grateful to have called South Sioux City his home, alongside his team in blue.
“To the voice on the other end, thank you for always being there. There’s been times when I called, and I’d really needed some help, and you’ve comforted me and assured me that it was coming,” Chernock said.
He adds that the best advice he can give to someone who may be following similar footsteps is to make sure those who are behind you are left a clear trail to follow.
Lt. Chernock said the ride to retirement has been an emotional one. However, he said he’s looking forward to spending his time off raising his chickens.