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SPD Sgt. Thomas Faherty retires after 25 years

IMMOKALEE — Sergeant Thomas “LT” Faherty’s retirement April 27 made him the first Seminole Police Department officer to retire after 25 years on the force.

During a celebratory party May 9 in Immokalee, surrounded by colleagues, seniors and friends he made during his career, Faherty bid farewell and welcomed retirement.

“I knew I wanted to retire when I wasn’t too old to enjoy it,” said Faherty, 55. “I planned this for 25 years. I’m looking forward to the future and to see what God has planned for us.”

After a move to Citrus County to be closer to his parents, Faherty and his wife Doris plan to travel, purchase some rental homes in the Tampa area and start a business. First on their itinerary is a trip to Orlando to see their son Christian and then off to Iceland and New York over the summer.

“LT is the first person to retire after 25 years since SPD’s inception,” said SPD Chief Will Latchford. “He started in Big Cypress and moved to Immokalee two years later.”

Faherty, whose transfer to Immokalee coincided with the opening of the casino in 1994, reflected on his career. Some of the highlights were working with the youth and seniors on crime prevention and travelling with them for 10 years on youth and senior trips.

“We had a ton of laughs on those trips,” he said. “I will miss the people here.”

Faherty’s work assignments with the Tribe included trips to Alaska, South Dakota, Niagara Falls and Camp Kulaqua in North Florida. Seeing kids grow up and have families of their own was one of the many rewards of the job. As a law enforcement officer, he also witnessed difficult times among Tribal and community members.

“I want people to understand I wasn’t there just to take them to jail,” Faherty said. “I was there to help them with all the issues they had.”

Faherty has observed major changes within the Tribe and seeing it become successful was another reward of the job. He is thankful for the Tribe and said he has had some of the best co-workers over the years.

“I pray that none of my coworkers ever get hurt, that’s my one wish as I leave,” he said. “They are really good people.”

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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.

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