Officer David Sherman said officers like Starr don't get enough recognition from the department.

"We need to stay grounded, and they can remind everybody about what's right and wrong," Sherman said."When you have someone like that, that's a great thing to have."

As his last day wound down, Starr picked up a police radio from the front desk and walked into the parking lot. He thanked the dispatchers for "making me look good all these years."

Then he told the officers that he prays for them every night.

"You are in the best district," he said, and then closed with police parlance for an out-of-service officer: "Hold this unit 10-7."

Sun reporter Pamela Wood contributed to this article.

Ron Starr

Age: 67

Born: Brooklyn, NY

Education: University of Baltimore

Occupation: Police officer, 38 years — all in the Southeastern District