A career with Bella Vista that started in golf maintenance 35 years ago has come to a close now that CID Lt. Barb Shrum has retired.
"The word that keeps coming to mind is 'trepidatious,'" Shrum said.
She started working for the POA maintaining golf courses in 1983 but transitioned to dispatch with a side of volunteer ambulance service in 1985, back when the emergency services were run by the POA. She reportedly kept a raccoon named Rocky with her in the dispatch office.
In the early years, Shrum said she enjoyed working with the older population of Bella Vista.
"When I first started," she said, "there were a lot more retired folks."
In June of 1992, Shrum transitioned to the uniformed division and, over the years, worked her way up to corporal, then criminal investigative division sergeant and in January 2005 became the department's CID lieutenant, a title she held until her retirement.
That first year, Shrum said she continued working in uniform while working on her overlap with the outgoing lieutenant.
But in CID, she explained, her role shifted. She focused her work on children and crimes related to them, she said.
"Those victims and what I could to help them keep you going a long time," she said.
But now, she said, it's time -- even if it's difficult to leave because of a combination of love for the job and concern for her fellow officers.
She's been through five chiefs, she said, and organized a fair number of retirements for others in the department.
"It's really tough being on this side of it," Shrum said.
Capt. Tim Cook said that Lt. Shrum did a lot for the department.
"She has been instrumental in bringing several people to justice for several heinous crimes," he said.
Chief James Graves said that, while he hasn't seen her whole career, after roughly 25 years of police work of his own, he understands how impressive her career has been.
Her work has been solid in the time he's worked with her, he said, and she's been an excellent child advocate over the years.
"If any work in law enforcement is God's work, that's it," he said. "I want to thank her for all that service, all that dedication."
As for what's next, Shrum said she has a trip to the Bahamas planned with some friends and plenty of free time to work on adjusting to civilian life.
"I have to learn how to sleep again," she said.
General News on 06/06/2018
Print Headline: Shrum retires from PD after 35 years