With over three decades of service under his belt, Lieutenant Paul Manning of the Pocatello Police Department announced his retirement earlier this week. Manning began his service in law enforcement 1982, graduating from the Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy (POST). He has served in many capacities since, including as narcotics detective, the homeland security/domestic security coordinator, the department's public information officer and more.
He told BYU-Idaho radio he became a police officer thanks to a brother in-law who served in campus security that prompted him to persue a career in law enforcement. "I found out it was fun, it was pretty exciting and just a good fit." Manning said. A good fit it was. In an interview with BYU-Idaho student Rachel Wynder, Manning relayed just a few of the interesting moments of his career, including single-handedly catching a bank robber.
"There was a year we had an armed robbery at a local bank, and I just happened to be in the area," Manning said. "I didn't know that I parked across the street from the robber's getaway car. He exited the bank with the money and came running around the corner of the building and we met face to face. My first back-up unit got into a crash coming to help me, so it was just me and the bank robber agianst each other for about eight minutes."
Manning went on to explain that the man had attempted five other bank robberies prior to when he caught him. In an interesting turn of recent events, the robber, Donald Sample (aka Donald Alexander Sheriff) was senteced to prison for another 30 years after he attempted another bank robbery in Wyoming just months ago. Manning immediately recognized the man, and Local 8 News did a story featuring the connection.
When asked what he would tell someone who was thinking about joining the police force, Manning explained the serious nature of the work and gave a warning. "You have to be prepared for long days, nights and weekends," Manning said. "I generally worry about all police officers everywhere just because of the way things are changing. There's so much of ambush going on. I had my share of gun calls, but I don't recall ever being ambushed and it just seems to happen more and more often."
Even with the dangerous nature of the work along with growing saftey concerns for officers, Manning expressed what an honor it was for him to serve and make cherished memories. In his retirement, he plans to continue teaching firearms courses at Idaho State University in Pocatello.
You can listen to the full interview below.