CHEEKTOWAGA – After 31-years of service to the Town of Cheektowaga Sgt. Larry Bauer retired from the Cheektowaga Police Department.
Current and retired police officers, friends, and family gathered Friday morning at the police station for Sgt. Bauer’s retirement sendoff.
Assistant Chief of Police Jim Speyer recalls joining the force with Sgt. Bauer and Chief of Police David Zak 31-years ago.
“It was a new era. We were the first of the 800 badge numbers and guys who were working here, the veterans, often referred to us as the toll-free cops, as in 1-800,” joked Asst. Chief Speyer.
Sgt. Bauer worked midnights for several years and in 1991 became a field training officer and was appointed to the Special Weapons and Tactics Team in 1992 and retired today as the SWAT team supervisor. In 1995 he was appointed a firing range officer.
“This was his calling and it sealed his faith and reputation throughout Western New York. Larry had a unique ability to teach firearms to cops with all levels of experience and expertise. His sense of humor was key that put struggling students at ease and he was able to take the most difficult cases and work with them, boosting their confidence, enabling them to pass their qualifications courses,” added Asst. Chief Speyer.
He received his sergeant promotion in 1997 and was a first line supervisor on the afternoon shift. He became the SWAT team supervisor and range master shortly thereafter.
“It takes a special person to do this, it takes a special person to have the knowledge, the patience, the respect and confidence of his men to maintain calm and composure during swiftly developing dynamic critical incidents requiring a SWAT callout,” said Asst. Chief Speyer.
Sgt. Bauer was the first in the area to develop “rapid deployment” in response to active shooter incidents starting with the Columbine shooting.
“Larry your biggest attribute is your great personality. You accomplished so much here at the CPD and still maintained that great sense of humor over all these years. You put those you were training with at ease, you made it a joy to be in your company. I believe you are probably the most well-liked and respected guy in our entire department and I admire you for that,” said Asst. Chief Speyer.
Sgt. Bauer remembers being 7-years-old and his dad, a volunteer firefighter with Cayuga Hose in Depew, took him across the street to the police station.
“They handcuffed me and put me in a cage and I knew at that time I wanted to be a cop – or into S&M,” joked Sgt. Bauer.
“I appreciate all the accolades but my job was to organize great training. My wife, she’ll tell you that before training sessions I would have a piece of paper on the stand next to us so I would wake up and write stuff down so I didn’t forget in the morning. Of course, when I got up in the morning I had no idea what any of the stuff meant,” added Sgt. Bauer.
He will be spending retirement around his family, his daughter Lauren and wife Beth.
“Family is everything to me., it’s kinda weird leaving here, I’ve been a cop for 31-years and I’m 55 so I’ve been a cop for longer than I haven’t been a cop, but there’s one thing that’s been longer and that with my wife and as long as I got you, babe, everything will be fine,” said Sgt. Bauer.
Listen to the Cheektowaga Police radio sendoff for Sgt. Bauer.