John Gross can put a pretty good perspective on how long he’s been a police officer in Ralston.
“There are a couple of guys in the department who weren’t even alive when I started this job,” he said.
Gross was recently honored for 30 years with the Ralston Police Department.
His tenure is longer than any current member of the department.
Working with RPD was Gross’s first, and only, job in law enforcement.
“I really like it here,” he said. “I enjoy working for the community and with my co-workers.”
Since Gross joined RPD in 1989, the department, and city, has undergone several changes.
Gross has worked with five different chiefs of police and has seen the landscape of the city change over the decades.
“When I started here, they had just completed the 72nd Street expansion to four lanes and Harrison Street was just a two-lane blacktop road,” he said. “There’s a lot of businesses along 72nd Street that have been built up since I started here.
“Things have become a lot more computerized, so I’ve had to adapt to that. We don’t even write out speeding tickets anymore.”
Gross said he has worked “every shift there is” during his time with the department, but said the variety of his job is what keeps him motivated.
“Over the years, the work itself has changed, but the basis of what I do hasn’t, so you just keep on going,” he said. “I wear a lot of different hats, so I’m not just out on patrol. I work property and evidence and do a lot of the cruiser videos and body cams and also work with our breath testing devices.”
Gross, 55, said he has no plans of stepping away anytime soon from the only department he’s known.
“My health is good and I feel good,” he said.
“I’ll go as long as they’re willing to keep me and as long as I can do the job.”