‘Radar Roy’ retires after 40 years as an Orangeville cop

July 2, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Tabitha Wells – One of Orangeville’s finest made his final appearance in uniform at the Orangeville Police station last Thursday. Officer Roy Yake, who has been fondly named ‘Radar Roy’ by members of the community, retired last week after 40 years with the Orangeville Police Service.

“We are celebrating Roy’s 40th year in policing and we are very proud to have him as a member of the Orangeville Police Service,” said Deputy Chief Wayne Kalinski. “We are very sad to see him retire.”

Mr. Yake’s career in policing began when he was 22 years old, in 1974. From the beginning of his time with the OPS, it was clear that he would be a strong, competent and diligent officer whose integrity and dedication would be extremely beneficial to both the community and the force.

“When I started my career, Orangeville was such a small community, and the force was fairly small,” said Mr. Yake. “It was just a really close bunch of officers and you really felt like you were a part of the town. It made for a good career.”

He added that it was partially that idea of being able to be a part of the community which made becoming an officer appealing. After the last 40 years of working with the community, he still feels it was a great choice.

“I’ve worked with good people over the years, I’ve worked good shifts, and I’ve been able to be a part of the community,” he said. “That’s part of what has made it such a great experience. I like what I do, and it’s going to be hard to leave, but the time has come.”

Constable Scott Davis, Media Relations Officer for the Orangeville Police Service, said it’s incredibly rare to see someone stick with any single career for 40 years, let alone policing, especially with the challenges officers face and the level of difficulty that can come with the job.

“To me, that speaks to the integrity and type of guy that Roy Yake is,” said Constable Davis. “ He’s loyal and committed to his community to stick it out for 40 years and still be enjoying what he does.”

Mr. Yake’s personnel file echoes similar sentiments, with many praising letters, reports and reviews.

“We have little excerpts out of Roy’s past and it paints a picture of an officer that is enthusiastic, dedicated, comes to work and serves the citizens of Orangeville very well,” said Deputy Chief Kalinski.

In one notice from March 24, 1976, the then Chief of Police, H.R. (Ray) Holden, wrote a congratulatory letter to Mr. Yake regarding his graduation from the Recruit Training program at the Ontario Police College.

In the letter, Chief Holden wrote that he felt any officer who had received an excess of 80 percent was ‘deserving of honourable mention’ and that he would be bringing Mr. Yake’s marks to the attention of the Orangeville Police Commission.

In a review dated November 29, 1979, Mr. Yake was praised for his work ethic and capabilities as an officer by one of the sergeants at the time.

“This man is one of our better officers,” wrote the sergeant. “He is quiet and unassuming, but when assigned to a task he is diligent and tenacious.”

Over the years, Mr. Yake’s role in traffic enforcement earned him the nickname ‘Radar Roy’, and his work to keep the town’s roads safe did not go unnoticed.

“Everybody has their own niche in policing, you develop your own thing that you’re good at,” said Constable Davis. “Roy has been known throughout his career for traffic enforcement. He’s helped maintain safety on our roads for 40 years now, so he’s going to be missed by both the people inside the OPS and the people in our community.”

Over the span of his career, there are a number of fond memories that Mr. Yake has – of his coworkers, the work and integrating himself into being a part of the community.

“There are just a lot of things that were really great about it, I don’t think I could really pinpoint just one thing,” he said. “I worked a lot of shift work, and we did different things all the time, and it was rewarding. It was just a good career.”

Deputy Chief Kalinski added that Mr. Yake would be heading out on an incredibly high note as a dedicated member of the OPS, and that his incredible service to the community of Orangeville made it hard to see him go.

“We wish him lots of health and happiness,” he said. “We’re very proud of Roy’s accomplishments, we’re very proud that he has had 40 years with the Orangeville Police Service, and we’re very proud that he’s retiring. He is going to be happy in his retirement because he is looking forward to his next chapter in life.”

Mr. Yake’s wife also retired from her career one day after, and the couple has sold their home locally to move to cottage country, to begin life in retirement. While he will miss Orangeville and the community that has helped make his career what it was, he explained that it was simply time to move forward.

“I’m really going to miss  all of this,” said Mr. Yake. “I’ve done this most of my life, so it’s going to be a little strange at first. It’s going to be really different being with my wife all the time instead of just part-time, but I’m looking forward to it.”

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