Former Sgt. Shannon Ramey knew he wanted to go into law enforcement when he was 7 years old. On Dec. 6, he retired after a 30-year career with the IU Police Department.
Ramey, 54, vividly remembers the day he decided on his career. He and his brother were walking to the store when a police car went driving by with flashing red and white lights — back then, they weren’t blue and red.
“As the police officer drove past my brother and I, he put his arm out the window and waved at us, and I thought, ‘That’s cool. I’m going to do that one day,”’ Ramey said.
He said he was drawn toward the job for the chance to help people and attempt to stop crime.
Ramey went through the IU cadet program in 1986 and started with IUPD at IU-Purdue University Indianapolis in 1988.
He returned to Bloomington in 1990 and was hired on to the IUPD Bloomington force.
He remembers being on bike patrol in the on-campus married housing area early in his career.
“All I did was play with the kids, and we would play bicycle tag,” he said. “That was great.”
He said he was told the kids would ride their bikes to the station and ask where he was on his days off.
IUPD Capt. Craig Munroe said Ramey was a great asset to the force and was always a great person to have a conversation with.
“I think it’s great for him, but a loss for IUPD,” Munroe said.
With his time off, he is excited to spend time with his wife, whom he married in December, and their 16-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.
“He’s a good father, and he’s a good partner and everything,” his wife Helen Ramey said. “He’s even good to everybody else.”
Ramey asked Helen to marry him three times in the 18 years they've been together, but he jokes that she only recently said yes because she saw a ring she liked.
Helen said she is excited to have him home so she doesn’t have to worry about his safety anymore. On holidays, Helen would often cook spaghetti, turkey, ham or other dishes for the officers who had to work.
Ramey has recently started volunteering with the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation. He supports the program since he’s a veteran himself. He was part of the Air Force Reserve from 1991 to 1999.
Ramey said in addition to volunteering, helping out with the family rental property business and attending church, he wants to travel. He has always wanted to go to Paris and hopes to revisit the Smoky Mountains soon.
He and his family used to travel more but lately not as much, so his wife is looking forward to him having time to do that, she said.
Former IUPD officer Randy Frye has been promoted as his replacement.
“I thought it was my time,” Ramey said. “The job was no longer as interesting, as fun or rewarding and I want to do something else. Thirty years is plenty enough time for me.”