When Officer John Kreuz started his career in law enforcement, speeding ticket fines were $32. Now the cheapest speeding ticket fine is $109.

When Officer John Kreuz started his career in law enforcement, speeding ticket fines were $32. Now the cheapest speeding ticket fine is $109.

Kreuz last week said "goodbye" to the only job he's known in the past 33 years with the Dublin Police Department.

"Job wise, I think I've helped make a difference in the community as far as being there when I was needed," he said.

"I've been blessed by having left this job of my own accord without injury or a heart attack."

After serving with five police chiefs and numerous coworkers during his decades on the force, Kreuz said his last week was bittersweet.

"It reaches a point where it's time to move on," he said. "I've done everything in my capacity to make the community safe. It's been a really, really good career."

The 55-year-old said he isn't planning to sit around during retirement, though.

His wife, Robin, and children, CJ and Sarah, will see more of him around the house. Along with hunting and his shooting club, Kreuz also has tentative plans for a part-time job with the state attorney general's office.

But it doesn't mean he'll miss wearing the badge.

"I'll miss the people that I work with," Kreuz said. "This is the only thing I've done for 33 years."

Those 33 years with Dublin have given Kreuz lots of memories.

The retiree can recall patrolling a city where McDonald's was the only restaurant and Dublin Plaza was the only shopping center.

"Perry Township did our dispatching and three or four days would go by without a call," Kreuz said.

"(Interstate) 270 was two lanes in both directions and Frantz Road was two lanes and ended at Rings Road."

Officers patrolled the Kingswood Inn that used to stand near Dublin Methodist Hospital for trouble and prowled for drunk drivers leaving the drive-in theaters near La Scala and the old putting range on Riverside Drive.

"When I started here I told folks it was very close to the Dukes of Hazard (TV show)," Kreuz said.

"It was very country and old-fashioned.

"The officers in Upper Arlington said 'Give Dublin some time. It will grow.' They were right. This place has just exploded."

As the city has grown, so has the police department.

When he started, Kreuz said he had to outfit his vehicle each day with a shotgun and track down a radar gun.

"Now we have the best equipment and best training," he said. "I'm not a world traveler, but I've seen other locations and parts of the country and to come back to Dublin is a vast world apart."

Kreuz became a sworn officer of the Dublin Police Department in early 1981 and said his calling to law enforcement came in high school.

He joined an Explorers Program for teens interested in law enforcement and then became a reserve officer for Upper Arlington at age 18.

"I volunteered 300 hours and did ride-alongs with officers," he said. "Upper Arlington was pretty low key, but I got an inkling that this would be a good career path to choose."

The long-ago decision by Kreuz has proved to be a good one.

"I've made a lot of friends and met a lot of people," he said. "When I tell them, people can't believe I'm leaving."