Duke Celebrates Its Police, Security Retirees

August 07, 2009 By Leanora Minai

They represented 372 years of experience and dedicated service.

Gathered in the Nasher Museum of Art on Wednesday for a reception in their honor, the men and women retiring from the Duke University Police Department included Nasher Security Lieutenant Martha Baker, a 36 year employee and the first African American female public safety officer at Duke.

Baker was among 18 police and security officers celebrated by families and Duke administrators, including President Richard H. Brodhead, who thanked the officers for their devotion, and “a job well done.”

Sue Wasiolek, who has been at Duke 37 years as student and administrator and is assistant vice president for Student Affairs, met Baker as a first-year student. Wasiolek was among the first to take the microphone to express her gratitude to the department. 

“As I watched all of the retirees come on stage, I felt as if my life at Duke was flashing before me,” Wasiolek said “I am just so honored to say that we have worked as a team through thick and thin. I’m truly honored to say I loved every minute of it.”

Members of the Duke police department retiring this month are: Security Lieutenant Martha Baker, 36 years of service; Security Officer Claudia Belfield, 31 years; Security Sergeant Randy Parham, 31 years; Police Lieutenant Thomas Gustafson, 29 years; Police Lieutenant Tony Shipman, 29 years; Security Officer George Lewis, 25; Police Lieutenant Joseph Fleming, 22 years; Security Officer Charles Quick, 21 years; Security Sergeant Willie Hockaday, 18 years; First Sergeant Larry Michels, 18 years; Security Officer Richard Taylor, 17 years; Security Sergeant Edwin Smith, 17 years; Security Sergeant William Gray, 17 years; Security Officer Gerald Gunnell, 15 years; Security Sergeant Worth Shelton, 15 years; Security Officer Charles Gordon, 12 years; Security Officer Joseph Martin, 11 years; Police Officer Thomas Wisdo, eight years.