BROKEN ARROW - Wanda Chalender thinks it’s time to slow down just a bit.
The 92-year-old has been volunteering for more than six years at the Broken Arrow Police Department. Since starting with the department, she’s logged 1,312 hours of service, saving the department thousands of dollars.
“They are just wonderful people to work for,” Chalender said. “They're so sweet to me. I just feel so blessed to have the privilege to work for them.”
Chalender has served the department by interacting with the community at the police station’s front desk, where she directed citizens around the building. She also preformed clerical duties and been a presence at police sponsored outreach events. Chalender completed her last shift Friday.
“I think it's a great community we serve. I think Broken Arrow is special and I love working here and I love the people protect us every day,” she said.
Members of the police force say they will miss Chalender.
"Wanda always had a smile on her face during her volunteer time and always wanted to stay busy while she was here,” Lisa Ford said, volunteer coordinator for the BAPD. “She wanted her time to be productive."
Chalender began serving the department after a Ford came to her church, asking members for their help. Chalender says she never thought of volunteering her time at a police station.
“God’s given me so much that I have to give back to others; for I’m very blessed to be as healthy as I am at 92,” Chalender said.
Chalender knew it was time go. She says her family wants her to slow down and that she feels that she isn’t as effective as before.
“Maybe somebody younger and more agile than I could do a better job,” she said.
Though she may be hanging up her blue police sweater, she’s not leaving the Broken Arrow community. She says she will limit her volunteer hours, but just serving at the Broken Arrow library.
“I never forget for a minute when they in the morning, their lives are at stake,” Chalender said. “It’s a small contribution I make to help what they do be a little smoother.”