TRAVERSE CITY — Dave Meachum doesn’t expect any fanfare. And that’s fine.
Meachum, a 26-year veteran of the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department, quietly entered retirement last week. He said he looks forward to a new career in the private sector out of the “public spotlight,” but he’ll always remain thankful to the community that’s been his lifelong home.
“I can’t count the number of the cases over the years that the community assisted us in solving, either by calling in a tip that opened up a case for us or by just being open and honest when we showed up at the door,” he said.
Meachum’s retirement could mean changes in the sheriff’s department: the county commission is considering not filling his empty captain’s position in order to save money in the 2014 budget.
Regardless, Sheriff Tom Bensley said Meachum’s knowledge and common sense would be difficult to replace.
“(He’s) just a great guy who’s been a very dedicated employee for his whole career,” Bensley said. “He’ll be missed, he really will.”
Meachum began his career in road patrol and ended as head of investigations. He said the best days on the job came when an investigation gave a suspect “one choice and one choice only”: to strike a plea deal.
“I think with a suspect admitting that they did it, that brings a lot to the victims,” he said.