On Friday May 28, Deputy Sheriff Velma Finley officially retired after 15 years of service with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, finishing her career with a final radio call.
In a short speech during the retirement event, Lt. Johnny Holtzclaw said that Finley has been the embodiment of what the job is truly about.
“As law enforcement officers you get asked ‘why do you do this; why are you a cop’, and most every one of us would say ‘cause I wanna be a blessing to one person’,” Holtzclaw said to Finley and those assembled to honor her. “Well I think we can look around this morning and see that Velma Finley has been a blessing to more than one person.”
Holtzclaw said that during her career with the DCSO, Finley would always strive to do the best she could do and stay positive in any situation.
“When we’re busy and things are getting rough and we’re kinda stressed out, Velma always says ‘we’ll just do the best we can’,” Holtzclaw said. “And if it was something personal or something she just didn’t need to worry about, Velma’s response was ‘I pray about it; Jesus has got me’.”
Sgt. Eric Johnson said that Finley’s faith was one of the biggest things those who know her noticed.
“The Bible is our source for life, and Velma has been a perfect example of what a Christian should be,” Johnson said. “Proverbs 22:1 says a good name is to be chosen rather than riches, and Velma left a tremendous name.”
Johnson said that while Finley will be missed by the DCSO, he and the others in the department are happy for her in retirement.
“Ms. Velma is just faithful, she’s genuine, she’s real, she’s not phony and she’s just a really great employee and a great person,” Johnson said. “And that pretty much sums her up.”
Finley said that she first started with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office 15 years ago when she was looking for a job after serving several years in the Navy. She spent time as a dispatcher, in the detention center and as an officer in the courthouse before finally reaching retirement.
“It’s been a great job; really a blessing,” Finley said. “And it’s the people that have really kept me here, the people were the best part.”
Now that she’s retired, Finley said that she plans on doing some fishing and resting from her long career in law enforcement.
“It’s been a good 15 years, and it’s exciting to be retiring now,” Finley said.