Boatner retires from UPD after nearly three decades

By DEMETRIUS THOMPSON,

This week, for the first time in nearly three decades, longtime Union Police Office David Boatner didn’t begin the week patrolling the streets of the town. Boatner announced his retirement in October after 29 years with the department, and his last official day was on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

A lifelong Union native, Boatner said that former UPD Chief Bill Truhitt, then an officer, first suggested that he had potential in law enforcement in 1986.

While working at the IGA grocery store in Union, Boatner finally applied in 1988 and was hired.

He said that there was a lot of on-the-job training in those first few years.

“When I started here, Fate Stephens, who was the acting chief, he pretty much tutored me through it,” Boatner said. “He was a good man.”

Being a mainstay of Union, Boatner said that he always tried to treat the members of the community right, even those who had committed crimes.

“This is my home, I’ve never known any other home,” he said. “Union is a community, these are my people, and that how I always tried to treat them.”

During his 29 years with the department, Boatner has worked eight UPD chiefs and gone on thousands of calls, but says that he’s thankful he has never had to fire his weapon in the line of duty. He said helping people will be the thing he most misses about the job.

“Some of it I won’t miss, but being able to help somebody, that I will miss,” Boatner said. “It’s not the people that I’ve arrested that I’m proud of. I’m hoping that somewhere out there I’ve made a difference in somebody’s life and helped them get in the right direction. I do appreciate having the opportunity to work for the community and I hope I did a fair job.”

Boatner says that right now he just plans to focus on house work and spending time with his eight grandchildren.