Yippie! Good riddance. Vaya con dios: Officers’ parting words left on human resources paperwork before exiting Chicago Police Department

The remarks, for the most part, express gratitude and excitement.

SHARE Yippie! Good riddance. Vaya con dios: Officers’ parting words left on human resources paperwork before exiting Chicago Police Department
A police car is parked near a CTA train station along North Kedzie Avenue. Feb. 11, 2022.

Chicago police officers parting words on their exit papers were generally positive.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times file

“Bon Voyage!”

“Thanks for the wonderful memories!!”

“Been a slice, see ya. Hasta la vista.”

They may seem like comments jotted in the margins of a classmate’s yearbook. But they’re actually the words of Chicago police officers who chose to write something in the “remarks” section of paperwork they needed to submit before exiting the department.

The Chicago Sun-Times, through an open records request, obtained the comments left by officers who resigned or retired in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Apart from several officers who complained of a hostile work environment or being forced to retire for age — mandatory retirement age is 63 — the comments seemed surprisingly rosy.

This is especially true considering the period of time is considered to be one of the hardest ever to work in law enforcement due to the pandemic and civil unrest stemming from police abuse.

Several dozen officers chose to leave a parting message — a fraction of the more than 1,700 cops who retired in those years, and the hundreds of others who resigned without full retirement benefits or transferred to other police departments.

Here’s a sampling of their notes (edited for length in some cases):

I’ve met some great people and lost some dear friends over the last 29 years. I’ve also seen things done to human beings that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

My greatest joy was to help the good people of the Austin area by fighting crime and trying to give peace of mind to the honest law abiding residents of the West Side which is also my home and where I grew up and attended school. I am proud to have served all, to the best of my ability with no regrets and would like to thank my comrades in arms in keeping me safe and I keeping them safe also.

It has been my honor to serve. Hopefully there are still those who recognize & appreciate the sacrifices we make for the public in our efforts to serve. Good luck. I wish you all the best.

My [Field Training Officer] was right. It has been a different carnival everyday, what a ride!

Carpe Diem



While I am grateful for the experiences I have had in my career, I wish to pursue opportunities in the private sector, and spend more time with my family and in leisure pursuits.

It’s been a long and rewarding ride. I tried to make a difference. In some cases I did. I will miss the job somewhat. But it’s time to let the younger officers take over.

Best Job Ever!!!

good riddance!!!!!!

Good luck brothers Thanks for the memories

I Loved my job

Looking forward to my retirement. It has been a pleasure

Vaya con dios

It was a great run. I am honored and blessed to have been a Chicago Police Officer.

It is time to leave my current position with the department and see what God would have me do next. I thank the many men and women whom I have served with through the years, the citizens of the communities, and God for letting me do his work. I wish everyone good tidings and blessings until their time of retirement! Thank you and God Bless you.

This Profession has been a great experience. The people I have come in contact with, citizens and fellow police officers has been rewarding. I hope I have left a great legacy that will encourage many to come.

I’ve given the Chicago Police Department the best I had on most days and I feel confident that I represented them well throughout my career.

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