Graham Police Chief career celebrated at retirement party

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GRAHAM (KFDX/KJTL) – After more than three decades of service, Graham’s police chief celebrated his retirement at a going away party Friday afternoon.

As people packed the Young County Arena to said congratulations to Chief Tony Widner on retiring, one thing was clear, just how much Widner means to so many people. After thinking about it for a while, Widner said he knew it was time to call it a career.

“I’ve been a police officer for 36 years and I’ve always been a firm believer that a police officer needs to be on top of his game. Well, I’m getting to 56 years old so it was getting close to that time,” Widner said.

Widner has done a lot of things in his career, but helping people is what he’s going to miss the most.

“This job has always been fun. I’ve really enjoyed helping people, getting to serve the public is a privilege and like I said, this is a fun job. Helping people is fun. Helping people when things are bad,” Chief Widner said.

Widner’s mom, JeriRrymer, said she is proud of everything her son has accomplished.

“Very dedicated to whatever he was doing. Honest, dependable, like I said he was the perfect son,” Rymer said.

Most importantly, Widner said he wants to thank the people of Graham for believing in him.

“There aren’t words to describe the City of Graham. I love the people in this community. Couldn’t think of a better place to have been raised or to have served as an officer,” Widner said.

Being a police officer was a dream job, and Widner is just happy he was able to live his dream. 

Widner’s last official day will be Jan. 2 and Assistant Chief Brent Bullock is expected to be announced as interim chief.

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