Lehigh Valley

Alburtis police sergeant retires, receives heartwarming goodbye

LEHIGH COUNTY, Pa. - He's been on the beat for 43 years.

But Sept. 1 was the last day for Alburtis Police Sergeant Jay Ruff.

"I'm a people cop. I would rather go talk to them instead of arrest them unless I really have to," said Ruff.

Ron Deiaco was the mayor when Ruff joined the police force.

Deiaco says Ruff is the Barnie Fife of Alburtis --the loveable community cop who treats everyone like family.

"He takes care of business and he keeps the town safe so we are real happy to have him and we're really sad to see him go," said Deiaco.

As he prepared for the end of his shift, a special announcement came over the radio from the law enforcement community.

"We want to thank him for his unending service and tireless commitment to serving his community," said the dispatcher. "Good luck Uncle Jay."

"I'm going to miss the people in the borough. Been most of my life helping the people here in the borough," said Ruff.

"Thank you for everything you guys and girls did. Please be safe," answered Ruff over the radio.

After his last dispatch, Ruff walked out to his car and found Alburtis, Macungie and Lower Macungie police waiting to escort him home, where his family was waiting with a special banner.

Ruff says he is closing the book on police work and is looking forward to his new role as grandpa.

"I have a motor home so I am going to get in there and drive down the road and head west for a while," said Ruff. "I'm not going for the gold rush; the love rush...that's what I'm going for."

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