HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – A Hutchinson man is not letting his health or age keep him from giving back to his community.
Jack Showalter, 79, is a proud member of the Hutchinson Police Volunteer Patrol program.
“This is really a great program. You can work as much as you want. You support the police and they will support you,” said Jack Showalter.
Showalter retired from the City of Hutchinson in 2002. Shortly after that, he started working seasonal jobs to keep himself busy.
“This just happened to come up, and I thought, ‘well, I will check it out.’
Showalter is now in his tenth year of the volunteer program.
“You don’t wear any weapons. You don’t stop anybody. We are just out there to help. See something, call it in,” he explained.
The father and grandfather volunteers around-the-clock. Some days he puts in nearly 10 hours.
“We go work at ball games, work and help on accidents, do subpoenas, court bailiffs. Oh my goodness, you can just be as busy as you want to be,” Showalter explained.
Showalter’s hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed.
“He has been a very dedicated volunteer for us. Whenever you have asked Jack to do anything, he always has a smile on his face. He brightens up the room. He brightens up the building here. People just love having him around,” said Hutchinson Police Lt. John Taylor.
Recently, Showalter has had to cut back on his volunteer hours. He is fighting colon cancer for the second time in a matter of years.
“Don’t feel good, don’t feel bad. I feel kind of balmy, you know, but just a day at a time, I guess,” he said.
“He was a daily figure head around here,” Lt. Taylor said. “We have missed him quite a bit lately when he has been gone for his treatment.”
Just because he is gone doesn’t mean Showalter isn’t thinking about his peers at the department. He said he still makes it his mission to stop in and volunteer on the days he feels well enough.
KSN asked Showalter why he continues to volunteer. He simply said because it is the right thing to do.
Volunteer Patrol members are graduates of the Citizens Police Academy. Some of their duties include: serving Municipal Court subpoenas, traffic control and house checks.