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Camden Courier-Post * January 30, 2007
Officer recalls 40 years on force
By BILL DUHART
Lyndon Johnson was still president when Frank Howard joined the Camden police force in 1966.
Forty years later, Howard reflected on his service at a retirement ceremony Monday at City Hall.
The 64-year-old sergeant actually retired in December after 40 years, eight months and 16 days on the force.
"There's been a lot of change in the city over that time," said Howard, formerly of Camden but now living in Merchantville.
"It's a lot more run down now than it was. Hopefully it will come back."
Howard is fond of his life in law enforcement, with memories from his days as a beat cop to a stint leading the tactical squad.
"He was always one of the first on the scene," remembered Councilman Gilbert "Whip" Wilson, a former police officer.
Wilson said Howard was on the force when he started and still there when he departed. Wilson said he was moved by Howard's "compassion" for other officers and "passion" for the job.
"He's a decent man," Wilson said during the ceremony. "He didn't fit the role of a rough, tough sergeant."
The police department's top official, Arturo Venegas Jr., the supersession executive, said Monday that Howard "touched many lives." He said Howard leaves a "legacy" on the department.
Howard said he always tried to be a role model for younger officers. Many said he succeeded.
"He led by example," said Deputy Chief Mike Tompkins, a 21-year veteran who served with Howard. "He did it. He didn't just talk about it."
Howard seemed moved by the attention and accolades. He said, "I'm just a person who lived in Camden and started here."
His wife, Florence, said, "He was very dedicated. He made the city a better place."
Retired Camden Police Sgt. Frank Howard (right) accepts congratulations from Camden Councilman Gilbert "Whip' Wilson, a former police officer.
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