64-year-old motorcycle cop won't give up the job he loves
POSTED: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - 4:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - 4:14pm
An Arlington, Texas police officer who has enjoyed the ride during his nearly four-decade-long career doesn't seem to be slowing down.
Cpl. Dick Hill, a former college and NFL football player stands at 6 feet 5 inches with a handlebar mustache that he fittingly sports while steering his police motorcycle.
Hill said he has seen a few things during his 38-year ride with the department, such as when he was hit by a car.
"That thing flipped me around and knocked me down and then I'm in between the cemetery and the hospital, laying in the street. It was like a bull rider -- I just had to get up," he said with a laugh.
He has provided police escorts for "I don't know even how many different presidents."
Most recently he provided an escort for former President George W. Bush.
"I had my picture taken with him," Hill said.
There have also been rock stars, such as Ted Nugent.
"He likes the police, but he's a crazy man, he is," Hill said, again, with a laugh.
At 64, some think Hill is the "crazy man" for continuing to ride.
"I've enjoyed the ride," he said. "Some think it's too long, 'Why don't you get off, you're too old.'"
He once planned on retiring at age 55 but, "Well, 55 came and went".
Now, Hill said he will just know when it's time.
Hill still scores in the 90th percentile on his annual police fitness tests, which includes such drills as a timed mile-and-a-half run, bench presses, sit-ups and stretches.
"It's not about showing off -- it's showing that I can still do my job," he said.
Hill said he has passed up plenty of promotions that would have taken him off the motorcycle.
Riding a motorcycle is just cooler, he said.
"If you look at a motor jock, that's a cop," he said. "I could have been a supervisor, and I think I would have been a good one, but I like what I'm doing."
Hill, the 1996 Arlington Police Department Officer of the Year, has been setting an example since his football days at Arlington State College, which later became the University of Texas at Arlington. Hill is in the Hall of Honor there.
"If you're going to do a job, do it right and do it professional and don't do it half way," he said.
"I want to treat you like I'd want you to treat me if I was sitting in your car and you were standing here," he said. "I don't want to be thought of as, 'Man, that guy was a jerk.'"
Hill said he has a passion for service and for people.
"It gives you a good feeling when you do something for somebody or they thank you," he said. "I get thanked sometimes for writing a ticket -- and it's not because they enjoyed getting a ticket; I wasn't ugly to them. That's probably as important as anything."