SALT LAKE CITY — In front of a few loved ones, Shane Whiting signed off for the final time as a Salt Lake City Police officer this weekend. He’s been with the department for more than 30 years.
“I would like to thank all my brothers and sisters in blue for all their support, all their backing, always having my 'six,' keeping me safe, and for making sure I get home to my family every night over the past 30-plus years,” he said through tears.
Whiting said he has loved every second of being a police officer, but he admits 2020 has been a challenge.
“It’s become a lot scarier, I will be completely honest,” he said.
Many officers park their patrol cars in their driveways, something Whiting said he always did until recently. Now, he feared it would make him and his family a target. He even now thinks of an escape route every time he pulls up to a stop light.
“I am afraid of the possible ambushes. I’ve had to rethink my tactics,” he said.
Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies were shot Saturday evening in what authorities are calling an unprovoked ambush.
Update: The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation. pic.twitter.com/cBQjyKkoxJ— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) September 13, 2020
“I did see the video and it was horrific and there was no reason for that. That was an absolute hate, murder,” Whiting said.
The video was heartbreaking to watch, he said.
“It scares me because I have so many good friends that are police officers, that are still police officers,” he said.
Whiting says cops don’t target people, and he wishes people knew that.
“The officers don’t hesitate. They just say, '10-4, in or out, I’m going.' They don’t ask who they are, where they are from, their background, what religion, race. It doesn’t matter,” he said.
He loves helping and serving people, and he says that's why officers take the oath.
After three decades, Whiting said he is ready to spend more time with loved ones. It’s always been the plan to retire.
“I have missed birthdays, I have missed Christmases, holidays, I’ve missed dance performances. So, I’ve got to say thank you to my family for putting up with my 30 years, but now it is time for me to dedicate it to my family,” he said.
Whiting isn’t sure what’s next but is excited to spend more time with loved ones.