Lt. Rory Mack retires after 35 years

Photo by Julie Ray            Mayor Keith McDonald presents Lieutenant Rory Mack a key to the city of Bartlett for his 35 years of service.

By Julie Ray

When Lieutenant Rory Mack came to the Bartlett Police Department 35 years ago as a patrol officer, it was at the insistence of his mother who was a court clerk in Germantown at the time and heard of the job opening. “I had just finished my law enforcement studies in Indiana where I was born and raised,” said Mack. “When I came to Bartlett it was July, 1977. There were 12 to 15 patrol officers at the time and I became one of them.” After that, in the 80’s and 90’s, Bartlett began to boom. Mack moved up in the ranks to investigative services. At that time, he was only one of two detectives in the traffic enforcement division. There, Mack performed traffic investigations. Mack’s passion however was being out in the community and being involved in community policing practices that became popular in the 90’s. “Prior to the 1990’s, police work was done behind closed doors. Police departments were very secretive,” said Mack who has seen the change for the better. “Now we have more support from the community and policing is more open, the way it should be. Interacting with the community and creating a two way street with the citizens is building bridges between the officers and the community. It is a good thing.” Just six years ago, Lieutenant Mack began the job that he is now retiring. That position was the Public Information Officer in charge of Public Information Education. Under Mack’s care were comments to the media as well as Neighborhood Watch. Mack says that when he started his position there were 23 Neighborhood Watch groups. The city now boasts as many as 60. Mack says that he doesn’t know what he will do now with his time. It seems he has not really thought that far ahead yet. “I had enough vacation days so that I could have taken off before now,” said Mack. “I want to be here. Someone told me that 35 years was a long time. But it sure hasn’t seemed that long. I guess the old adage is true that time flies when you are having fun.” Mack’s retirement is bittersweet. He is moving on so that his son can follow in his footsteps. Mack’s son, Garrett Mack will start a day after the Lieutenant’s retirement on November 1. It is fitting, as Garrett’s grandfather was also a police officer and Rory stepped into his shoes. Mayor McDonald touched on this fact at Lieutenant Mack’s retirement party after presenting him with the key to the city. “It is good when children, your son, aspires to be what he sees you being,” remarked Mayor McDonald. During the retirement party, a casual lunch ceremony, Chief Riker called the Lieutenant Mack a ‘warrior protecting the citizens of Bartlett.’