By Tamas Mondovics

While hosting its Second Quarterly Awards Ceremony last month, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) was pleased to honor and recognize a list of exemplary employees along with private citizens that have assisted law enforcement retirees and longevity employees, who have served the department for more than three decades.

The event, held at the Falkenburg Road Jail Assembly Room, and directed by Major Willie Parker, was pleased to honor HCSO Colonel Ron Hartley as its retiree after serving the department for more than 40 years.

“During his distinguished career he has served within almost every area of the agency and retires as the commander of Uniform Patrol District 4,” Major Parker told the audience, adding that as his law enforcement career comes to a close, Hartley plans to seek out new challenges in business and in life.

“Thank you for four decades of service to our community and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office,” Major Parker said as Hartley took the stage with Sheriff David Gee for photo.

As the longest-serving full-time Hillsborough County law enforcement officer, which began in 1974 under Sheriff Malcolm Beard, Hartley, 63, turned in his badge earlier this year, ready to focus his attention on family, including his three grandchildren, as well as to do a bit more hunting, fishing and boating.

Prior to his retirement as District 4 Major, Hartley successfully oversaw his 450-square-mile district and its 280,000 residents.

Hartley was considered by many, including Sheriff Gee, as a great fit for the communities he served.

“I have known Ron Hartley for over 37 years,” Gee said. “He is probably one of the most natural law enforcement officers and dedicated public servants ever. He understands the community by getting involved with the community.”

“He is an all around great guy who was always true to his word and wants to get things done,” said HCSO District 4 Bloomingdale Community Resource Deputy Curtis Warren.

Summing up his own long lasting career with the Sheriff’s Office, Hartley put things in perspective for all when he said, “When I started at the Sheriff’s Office in 1974, I had no idea it would last for over 40 years. I have never regretted one day of that 40 years.”

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