They affectionately call themselves the Old Timers.
And on Saturday this group of former Fullerton Police officers and civilians spent the morning and afternoon at the Spring Field Banquet Center in Downtown, catching up and talking about, well, old times.
The group started in the 1950s as the Old Blue, and while it has had some down years, it continues on, largely through the efforts of former Officer Bob Booth, who spent 22 years wearing a Fullerton PD badge.
The group is a mix of retired police chiefs, captains, officers, jailers, dispatchers, clerks and anyone else who worked at the department and retired, he said. In addition to the annual gathering, several members of the group meet once a month for breakfast.
Booth said the camaraderie that grows between officers and police civilian while on the job is the main reason the group continues.
“When you roll out on a call, you know who is going to back you up,” Booth said of his fellow Fullerton police employees. “These are the people who you went out and worked the streets with, who you fought together with and who you cried with.”
In attendance Saturday was Don Bankhead, a retired captain and former Fullerton councilman who joined the department in the late 1950s. Bankhead was tabbed as the keynote speaker.
“It’s a wonderful organization that lets a bunch of old retired officers get together and say hello again,” Bankhead said of the Old Timers. “And we are fortunate to have Bob keeping it together.”
Indeed, retirees travel from miles around to attend, even coming from Arizona, Colorado and Idaho. One of those in attendance was Lee DeVore, a former Fullerton Police captain who later became police chief of Twin Falls Idaho.
Chief Dan Hughes also paid a visit to Saturday’s event, posing to take a photo with former chief and retired North Court Judge Martin Hairabedian
Hughes commended the Old Timers for staying together all these years.
“The thing I love about this group is that it is the only organization of its kind in Fullerton that continues to meet on a regular basis,” Hughes said.