Town of Addison Officer Mike Hardin Retiring After 26 Years of Service
The Town of Addison and Addison Police Department are saying “farewell” to Officer Mike Hardin, who is retiring after 26 years of service. This will be a clear loss for the Town for sure, and Mike shares that it will be difficult leaving the closeness of the family of police and fire and other long-time relationships with Town employees. It is, however, more importantly for Mike, an exciting opportunity for relocation for him and his recent bride, Susana, and family, to the sandy beaches of the Galveston area. There Mike will work with the Port Authority and schedule a lot more time for fishing.
Mike came to work in Addison in 1989, after five years with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. He recalls that at that time, the APD was “the place to go,” and he felt honored to have been selected. He recalls that things were a bit slower here and fewer police patrols were required to keep a handle on our bustling urban community. Through the years he has worked in all but one of the jobs of our local force, starting as a patrolman and then moving into traffic (control) before spending six years as a detective, a role which included narcotics investigation. He then moved to the Addison Municipal Courts where he worked as bailiff and performed numerous support roles to the magistrates and the process.
Mike is proud of his work here, with a career that includes numerous acknowledgements for jobs well done – one such commendation was for pulling someone out of a burning apartment. Mike has served our community with countless contributions over the years. The work he reports as most fulfilling, however, came about in recent years in his role as Patrol Officer. He developed a positive and productive working relationship with management folks at several of the extended stay hotels, work which resulted in reduced crime and earned him another special recognition from the Town. Here he got to know the kids who live in the hotels, offering encouragement and a “friendly cop” relationship. It is no surprise that this warm and affable man’s lasting memories of Addison will include these special relationships as well as his time working with fellow officers organizing toy drives for the kids at the hotels and the children of waitstaff of some of our local eateries. And he fondly recalls interactions he had with grateful seniors while delivering their lunch through the (formerly Senior Adult Services, now the Metrocrest Services) Mobile Meals program.
When asked about the greatest challenges of his work Mike laughed and with a touch of mischief observed that it has been difficult through the years to apply the “Addison Way” while facing down suspects obviously intent on causing bodily harm. Asked about his concerns, he observed that the accelerated rate of turnover in the department in recent years has resulted in a loss of some of the camaraderie, a loss which has damaged the cohesion and culture of the department. Also, he noted the current shortage of mid-level officers and the recent and upcoming retirement of several key personnel, and the resulting effect on adequate staffing affected and training of newer recruits.
Clearly Mike Hardin has had an impact on those he has served, on those with whom he has served and on our community at large. Addison Police Chief Ron Davis had this to say about Mike: “The most impressive thing about Mike Hardin is the size of his heart. Over the last 25 years it was not uncommon that word would filter back to me that Mike had gone out on a call and found someone in desperate need who had fallen between the cracks of the Social Assistance programs. Rather than just feel bad, Mike time and again used his own personal resources and/or engaged his follow Town employees to try to make a bad situation a little better for those people. Mike for me will always be an example of that long tenured police officer who never lost his sense of compassion toward people in need.”
On behalf of the citizens of the Town of Addison, we thank you, Mike Hardin, for your service and contributions, and we wish you the best in your retirement.
Bunny Summerlin, Interviewer