Frank d'Entremont, the longtime head of the Ashland Police Department's volunteer program, has retired at age 96 after serving the community for decades.
"He's been a fixture in the city for 57 years now," said APD Chief Terry Holderness.
D'Entremont started his law enforcement career in Los Angeles in 1950.
To put that in perspective, Holderness — who himself has graying hair — noted, "Frank was a cop four years before I was born."
Fortunately for Ashland, d'Entremont's wife saw an ad in the Los Angeles Times stating that the Jackson County Sheriff's Department wanted to hire someone to create a modern records system.
"My wife wanted to get out of L.A. She said, 'Answer the ad,' " he recalled.
The Jackson County sheriff hired him sight-unseen after a phone interview.
When he arrived in the Rogue Valley, d'Entremont said law enforcement was in a backward state. He set about modernizing local systems.
In 1956, he moved over to APD, working his way up to assistant chief before retiring for the first time in 1977.
Not content to sit back, d'Entremont's subsequent activities included consulting with police chiefs across the state to bring more professional law enforcement to Oregon, serving as bailiff and managing APD volunteers.
City officials estimated that the APD volunteer program run by d'Entremont saves the city nearly $1 million a year.
Before his law enforcement career, he was a Marine during World War II. He continued to serve by volunteering with the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
D'Entremont also has been a volunteer with organizations that include 4-H, Boy Scouts of America and Toys for Tots. "I never was prepared to retire. I never intended to," d'Entremont said. "I enjoyed what I was doing, and I think that makes a big difference. I always gave much more of myself than was required."
Holderness said d'Entremont will be honored with a brick at North Mountain Park inscribed with his name and dates of service.
During a Feb. 19 Ashland City Council meeting at which his retirement was announced, d'Entremont received a standing ovation from residents, city staff and elected representatives.
"You've set an example for the entire community," Mayor John Stromberg said.
Ashland Daily Tidings reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or email@example.com.