The Mountain Area California Highway Patrol is saying good-bye this Christmas to one of its own.
Sergeant Edward Greene will be retiring from the CHP Thursday, Dec. 26, after 30 years of service and duty.
The 52-year-old husband, and father of three, has spent the last 30 years of his life serving and protecting people on California roads. Now he looks forward to spending time with his family, vacationing and getting things done around the house.
Greene started his career working as a reserve officer at the Marina Department of Public Safety and as a volunteer firefighter before being hired by the Sheriff's Department in Santa Clara.
Greene's first job with the CHP came following his graduated from Monterey Peninsula College and the Galvin Police Academy in Gilroy. Greene was hired by the California Highway Patrol in 1984 to work in Monterey.
Following years in Monterey, Greene ventured out to the Santa Fe Springs division then the Fresno division, back to Santa Fe, before finding his niche in Mariposa and his permanent residence in Oakhurst.
Greene says he has always enjoyed working as a CHP officer and couldn't imagine himself doing anything else.
"I worked a graveyard shift at night and I always enjoyed that because all the things that happen at night. All the criminal elements come out at night," Greene said.
One of Greene's most memorable moments while working for the CHP came in 1996 while working in Santa Fe Springs.
Greene says he responded to a call of a potential suicide on an overpass located over Interstate 605. According to Greene, a young lady was on the verge of committing suicide by jumping off a bridge into oncoming traffic. Upon arriving on scene officer Greene realized the women had second thoughts and was more scared than suicidal enticing officer Greene to scale the cat walk and stand with her on a 50-foot ledge while waiting for assistance to get down safely.
Greene says he was petrified with fear at some points and was balancing on a ledge that easily could have killed him if he fell. Greene said although he was nervous he maintained his composure for the sake of the victim and ensured the women she would be safe prior to firefighters showing up with a latter.
Greene says the most memorable part of the whole event was when he was told that he was video tapped throughout the entire incident and the tape had been leaked to the media.
Soon Greene found himself a celebrity all over the news stations and all across the state and being asked to answer questions to the media in regards to the life-saving circumstances.
Several years later, in 1999, Greene was awarded for his efforts and received the Medal of Valor one of the departments highest honors for his courageous a selfless act.
Greene has seen it all when it comes to the job but would never take back his decision to become a CHP. He has lost several friends including a close fiend who was shot dead by a gang member while leaving a courthouse in Pomona.
Greene, who is set to retire in just a few days, says he is excited about his retirement but above all will miss the camaraderie and connection he had with all the officers and service men and women he had the pleasure of working with.
"I'm going to miss the people I work with, the officers that I worked with. They know what they're doing and they know what I needed to do as a scene manager," Greene said. "I will miss just talking to them, giving them direction and advice. It's the camaraderie. Not only with CHP officers but with all ally officers...you see these guys at the scene and then you see them at the grocery store. Just working with the officers and all the allied agencies...I am really going to miss that."
Greene considers himself a community man and pledged that he worked for the community more than anyone else. Greene said he felt an obligation to be the best officer he could be.
"People think we give out tickets and do all the bad things...we do so much more that people do not realize. We do a lot of public service and assist the public including breakdowns, road closures and making driving condition safe for everyone."
Now that he is retired Greene stated he plans to stay in Oakhurst and enjoy the community he helped to protect.
"I love the community here, there are a lot of people here you can relate too. A lot of people came from areas I worked, like Southern California Monterey, and it's amazing to see these people from all over cause I am familiar with the areas they came from."
Greene's first order of business is to keep himself out of trouble with his wife by helping with little projects in and around the house.
"I love fishing and look forward to spending time doing that and doing things for my wife. She has a long list of things for me to do around the property." Greene said. "I have not had time to do the things I have wanted to do and I am going to take this time to get to those things."
Upon retirement Greene plans to spend time with his 10-year-old daughter by involving himself more with her 4-H and Girl Scouts troop, and plans to spend more time with his two sons and traveling the nation.
"I have my eye on Yellowstone and the a Grand Canyon. I want to see it in the winter, I want to see the bison coming by and I want to see it covered in snow. I've spent most of my life working and I am looking forward to doing what I want to do....not having to check in, get up at a certain hour etc. Just enjoy not having any worries about work or the next call."
Whatever Greene plans to do with his spare time he will be greatly missed by the men and women he has worked with and protected throughout the years.