The community room at Franklin Police Headquarters was filled with friends, family and fellow officers Thursday to celebrate the retirement of Sgt. Paul Arnold, who spent 29 years on the force.
Despite a serious illness, Arnold remained dedicated to the career he loved throughout the years and was recognized at the celebration for his service and the impact he made on those he helped.
In 2017, he received the prestigious Theodore Roosevelt Police Award, an award bestowed to law enforcement officers for outstanding and praiseworthy service. Arnold earned the award because he continued to serve the community despite a battle with cancer.
The illness did not stop Arnold from doing the job he had loved, a position he had served in for almost three decades. He was last assigned to check and repair officers’ weapons up until his recent retirement.
At Thursday’s ceremony, there was plenty of laughter as a slideshow of pictures cycled through the policeman's career. Accompanied by his wife, Dawn, Arnold shook the hands of officers and embraced others in the community with hugs and smiles.
Fellow police and city staff spoke at the ceremony, describing how Arnold had impacted their lives and the Franklin community.
“For a family or a team to really work, you’ve got to have that glue guy,” Franklin City Administrator Eric Stuckey said. “Every great team has them. Sergeant Arnold was that glue guy.
“His heart and soul is in the department, and in the community. We are forever grateful.”
Fellow FPD officer John Lawrence worked with Arnold for close to three decades, and described him as a “warrior in so many ways.”
“It won’t be the same with out you around here,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence presented Arnold with a unique patriotic work of art inscribed with his name signed by all FPD staff.
Police Chief Deborah Faulkner also spoke about Arnold’s dedication to Franklin, and the law enforcement family he will always be a part of.
“We love you, and we always will,” Faulkner said. “Paul, you will forever be part of that thin blue line that leads you directly back to us. We’ll always be here for you.”