I used to work with all these guys and now everybody is retiring, if they haven't already gone. Kirk was one of the best, I have to agree. He was so down to earth and never thought he was better than anyone else, which really is a problem now days, whether the upper echelon wants to believe it or not. Of course thinking of Tye and Jimmy makes me sad anyway. I can't believe how long it's been since Jimmy died, 12 years. Or that his dad is gone now too. And Mark Langan, still alive, but retired! He's working at the Humane Society now - He was one of the best sergeants I ever worked for - and funny too, we used to prank each other all the time. He'd be out doing surveillance and call and want to know how to spell something because he and the guys were playing some kind of goofy word game that I never did understand, it was funny though. We'd make up words and then one of the other guys would call wanting me to look up the word because he didn't believe it was a real word - well, duh! He gave me a bunch of grief one time because I forgot to stamp a report "Original". I took a whole pad of post it notes, stamped them "Original" and stuck them all over his office, everywhere... I loved that job! Anyway, back to reality...
OMAHA, Neb. -- The Omaha Police Department saw the retirement this month of a man many said is one of its most respected and popular officers.
For decades, Sgt. Kirk Kunze worked the streets of Omaha, many of those in the Northeast Precinct. Kunze was a police officer for 32 years -- 21 in Omaha.
"Best of times would have been working for Mark Langan in narcotics," Kunze said. "Mark really pushed and instilled to keep moving, to produce and go on to the next one. His look at ethics, his desire to show results -- I carry that with me, too."
Langan said he's a Kunze fan, too. "Kirk's the last of a dying breed, no doubt about it," said Langan. "He nurtured his group, taught them right from wrong, considered them his own kids. He's just a fantastic street sergeant, no doubt about it."
Kunze witnessed tragedy, too. "The worst would have been the night Jason Pratt got hurt, because of the shock of it all. First off, he was one of my guys," Kunze said.
Pratt was shot on duty and later died of his injuries.
Kunze also knew Officer Jimmy Wilson Jr., who was shot and killed in 1995.
"To have worked with Jimmy was wonderful. The excitement of a new career, and his plans to come pheasant hunting at my place. The joy of Jason was infectious, and the healing, to me, was to talk to his wife and children," Kunze said of his fallen comrades.
Kunze said a proud moment was when Officer Zach Petrick was shot after a traffic stop in March 2005. Kunze's team stepped in and took control.
"You've got Matt Worm, who would later say, 'I just remembered my Boy Scout training and applied pressure,' to watching Craig Wiley stand, protecting the scene, and no on was going to come into it. My pride -- I've been honored so much just by watching the men and women here do their job without a flinch," Kunze said.
"We're going to miss him a ton," said Officer Frank Platt. "He was a sergeant that got off half an hour before crews but always stayed to make sure his officers made it home safe."
"I've accomplished what I've wanted to do here," Kunze said. "As I said on my last roll call, now, you teach others. See each other succeed. It's been good. But it's time for another adventure."
Kunze said his future plans include writing a screen play.