Chula Vista Police Capt. Gary Wedge protected and served the city of Chula Vista for 29 years.
On Dec. 3, Wedge, 51, officially turned in his badge and retired from the Police Department.
“There’s a lot of reasons (as to why I retired),” Wedge said. “I think probably the biggest reason is to spend more time with my family.”
Wedge said his retirement plans include doing simple things such as carpooling his kids around town, finally working on completing projects around the house and getting back to playing the guitar, which is one of his hobbies along with photography.
His first order of business is to attend a San Diego Chargers game against the Denver Broncos in Denver, Colo.
Wedge’s desire to be a cop started in 1976 as a young explorer. Wedge originally wanted to follow in his brother’s footsteps in becoming a paramedic.
But that changed when a friend dragged him to a police explorers meeting.
He went on a ride-along in a patrol car; he knew then that a career in law enforcement was meant for him.
Wedge spent four years as a reserve officer and kept that post until he was hired as a full-time officer in 1984.
Recently Wedge doubled as a police captain and the department’s public information officer.
The Bonita Vista High School alum said the memories he will carry with him the most aren’t the ones about putting away a bad guy or saving someone’s life.
It is the police work he did behind the scenes that most people don’t know about.
“Probably the fondest memories I have of being a police officer, certainly the interesting cases, but I think even more so the things like Shop with a Cop, police activities leading to toy and food drives and Read Across America,” he said.
“That’s the fun stuff. That’s were you really start to see the impact of the lives you touch is in your work with kids.”
Now that he’s retired, Wedge plans to do more work that will impact people’s lives by volunteering for one of his favorite charities, the Make A Wish Foundation.
Wedge admits he wanted to retire last year, but the timing wasn’t right.
He added that being a police officer was a dream come true.
“I believe this is the best job in the world,” he said.
His last day on the job was Nov. 14.