Retirement can be a wonderful time in someone’s life. Suddenly, you have all the free time you ever wanted to dedicate to friends, family, and hobbies. However, retiring also means saying goodbye to some people. In late February, Lt. Austin Garrett, a retiring police officer from Tennesee, shared a touching moment with his daughter, Haley. Afterward, the video went viral on Facebook. Read on to see why this touching video touched so many hearts…
A Bittersweet Goodbye
Earlier this month, Tennessee Police Lt. Austin Garrett retired from the Chattanooga Police Department. Over his twenty-five years on the force, Garret became an example for other police officers. By the end of his career on the Chattanooga Department, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant for Tactical and Traffic Operations.
All new beginnings and endings, like retirements, are bittersweet – but this time, it was also incredibly touching. For his final act on duty, Garrett had something special planned. He called the local district dispatcher, to share a last call his daughter, Haley, who works at the Hamilton County 911 Emergency Communications District Dispatcher. The retired police officer shared the emotional sign-off online, and it quickly went viral.
“Don’t Forget Who You Are”
It’s easy to see why the incredible phone call between father and daughter touched so many. It’s not just the gesture that people loved, its the clear, loving bond between a father and his daughter displayed in the video. Before Garrett begins to speak, he inhales and seems to choke up. But it’s clear to see that the experienced police officer knows exactly what he wants to say to his daughter, Haley: “Twenty-five years of service. I’ll be out of service a final time. Be careful. Don’t forget who you are.”
After her father’s advice, Haley begins to cry in the control room. But, like any good police dispatcher, she does not skip a beat. She replied to her father, calmly, “Thank you for twenty-five years of service at the Chattanooga Police Department. You’ve been a mentor and great friend to many during your career. We all wish you well on your future endeavors. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.” Haley ended on a note that made us all weep: “I love you, daddy.”
A Loved Police Officer
The Garrett’s friends inside the Chattanooga Police Department recorded the phone call from both ends. Afterward, with permission from both father and daughter, the police department shared the touching exchange on their Facebook page. Within days, the video received nearly 500,000 views and over 5,000 shares. Many also took time to comment, praising the gesture and the love between a father and daughter. Commenters also commended Garret on his service as a police officer.
The caption alongside the video said, “After 25 years of service to the Chattanooga community, Austin L. Garrett signed off for the final time as a Chattanooga Police Officer on Friday. Austin’s daughter, Haley, was the Hamilton County 911 Emergency Communications District Dispatcher on the other end of that emotional call. The Chattanooga PD thanks Lt. Garrett for his dedication, leadership, and service and may the best of the past be the worst of his future.”
You can watch the touching sign-off here or on Facebook:
After 25 years of service to the Chattanooga community, Austin L. Garrett signed off for the final time as a Chattanooga Police Officer on Friday. Austin's daughter, Haley, was the Hamilton County 911 Emergency Communications District Dispatcher on the other end of that emotional call. The Chattanooga PD thanks Lt. Garrett for his dedication, leadership, and service and may the best of the past be the worst of his future.
Posted by Chattanooga Police Department on Sunday, February 10, 2019