Sgt. Willie Ford retires from APD

Sgt. Willie Ford retires from APD

Abilene Police Department Sgt. Will “Willie” Ford, left, recently reitred from the APD and was honored by Police Chief Marcus Dudley and others. (Photo by Joe Starkey)

 

In 1985, a young black man from Stamford took the test to be an Abilene firefighter. He placed fourth of over 400 candidates.

Will “Willie” Ford went home to tell his mother of his success. She told him he was too clumsy to be a firefighter, and thus died that dream.

A short time later, he saw an ad for a police officer in Abilene. He applied, was accepted and did not tell his mother until he was well into the academy.

Earlier this month, 36 years later, Sgt. Ford retired from the Abilene Police Department and went 10-42, the sign off for an officer leaving duty, for the last time.

Honored, respected and well known for his excellent police work, he did 19 years on patrol and moved into investigative work where he soon became known as an effective interrogator.

At 25 years of service, when many are thinking of retirement, he accepted the challenge of becoming Abilene Police Department’s first black sergeant.

Ford’s specialty was homicides with his department clearing over 70 in his career. His last year, 2021 was notable because his unit had a 100% closure rate for homicides.

At a retirement ceremony, several of his supervisors past and present in the department remembered his service and presented him with mementos. He remembered good times and then introduced his family, children, grandchildren, church family, neighborhood family, Stamford family, friend’s family and police family.

Abilene PD will miss him, but his family will not miss the 2 a.m. call outs and his church will not be disrupted by the deacon leaving mid-service.

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