Congrats, and thanks, Jim Marquardt!

Next month, Jim Marquardt will step down from the DARE program in local schools as he caps off 50 years of service with the Alpena County Sheriff’s Office.

Serving 50 years in any field is remarkable. Doing so in a job that puts your life on the line every single day and is so consequential to the lives of so many individuals and the health of a community as a whole is truly outstanding.

So thank you, Jim, for your service to the community, and congrats on five decades of service.

As you read in today’s front-page story by Steve Schulwitz, Marquardt was inspired by the officers who visited his one-room school to talk about public safety. He joined the sheriff’s office in 1969 and, over the decades has served many roles, including as sheriff from 1995 to 2004. He has served in the DARE program and is currently court bailiff, a role he’ll continue even after stepping down from DARE.

“I think the main reason I’m still around today is because I enjoy people and love serving them,” Marquardt told Schulwitz. “I love working with the kids. It is still a joy for me to be in the uniform every day.”

It’s been a joy for us, too, having you in that uniform. And we’re sure you’ve inspired many, many students to some day wear the badge, too.