Applause rolled across the elegant dining hall as the two columns of young men and women, marching in formation in their crisp uniforms, positioned themselves next to the stage. On an evening highlighted by tributes from the Mayor, top-ranking city officials, Senators, members of the House of Representatives, current and former State Assembly members, the Chief of Police, and a variety of colleagues, family and friends, the salute by Police Explorer Troop 19 was among the most meaningful.
Mentoring and motivating youth – through humor, honesty, high expectations and a tenacious faith in their potential – was a personal mission for Lt. Rodney D. Wallace throughout his 30-plus years with the Pasadena Police Department. How fitting it was that his retirement celebration last Thursday at the Pasadena Convention Center climax with the Explorers passing in review.
Working with kids grew out of a commitment to public service that was the cornerstone of Wallace's career in law enforcement and his participation in various community, church and civic activities. That commitment is summed up in three words that Wallace uses to close his email messages: Honor, Integrity and Strength. Along with those, Wallace frequently includes the courage-fueling statement of the Apostle Paul, from the New Testament book of 2 Timothy: "the Lord has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline."
Dedication to those principles drives the selfless leadership that has enabled "Rodney D" to maintain the respect and trust of police colleagues and community members alike – by no means an easy task for an officer of the law.
Imbued with power, tempered by self-discipline and, in all things, guided by love Rodney D. Wallace is a man of Honor, Integrity and Strength who has made a singular impact on our Pasadena/Altadena community during his three decades in uniform. As he bids adieu to the PPD, let us thank Rodney D for all that he has done and let us strive to emulate his example.
I'm Cameron Turner and that's my two cents.