We’ve read several tragic stories of officer’s killed in the line of duty recently as they crested near retirement.

One deputy from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office made it. And it’s newsworthy because he lasted two score and five years in law enforcement.

Dave Sheen retired in October after serving for 45 years in the business, 20 of which were with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office reported Kurt Hanson of the Daily Herald.

“It’s kind of different not waking up in the morning and going to work,” Sheen said. “I sleep in when I want. I don’t have to put on a badge and gun anymore. It’s different.”

Sheen’s career began in 1970 with the Utah Highway Patrol. It continued in 1996 after the Utah County Sheriff’s Office had an opening for an Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVO) trainer, one of several areas of expertise that he possessed.

“I’ve done a lot of things in law enforcement,” Sheen said. “This has been a good, rewarding career. You do something for your community that’s beneficial.”

“He’s probably one of the more calming influences, as far as the sheriff’s deputies go,” said Steven Chapman, Sheen’s most recent supervisor. “He never got too high or too low. He was very, very steady.”

Sheen looks back on his career with nostalgia and fulfillment, though he said it was easier to start in law enforcement in 1970 than it is now.

“Law enforcement is an easy career to criticize because you’re always dealing with people in negative situations,” Sheen said. “It takes a special person.”

Sheen said despite gruesome scenes and long, merciless days, he wouldn’t trade it for anything.

“It’s still a good career, even today,” he said. “My dad always told me the three most important professions are farmers, teachers and law enforcement. I’m grateful I could serve.”

It sounds like Sheen had a wise father.