Williston, ND (KEYZ) To a packed standing room only crowd at the Old Armory, the torch has been passed and James Lokken handed his badge to the new Chief of police David Peterson. Lokken received accolades by letter or in person by the likes of Mayor Klug, FBI Chief James Comey, Senator John Hoeven, Williams County Sheriff Scott Busching, State Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Police Commissioner Tate Cymbaluk, but tears came to his eyes, when he reached out by radio to his son Les, at the police department a couple of blocks away to officially register his 10-42, 10-92. His end of watch radio call.
James Lokken: “PD 23.”
Les Lokken: “23, PD.”
James Lokken: “10-42, 10-92.”
Les Lokken: “To all units at station, (gasp, fighting back emotion) with great pleasure to announce, (exhales) that after 46 years of service, my dad, Chief James Lokken badge number 23, is retiring and giving his final 10-42, 10-92 on April 20th 2017 at 16:05 hours. (To the Chief) I want to thank you for being my mentor, inspiring me to live a life of service, just as you have. I love you dad! Clear.”
Earlier in the celebration, Chief Lokken passed the torch in front of the crowd, asking the wife of Captain David Peterson to pin his badge onto the shirt of the new Chief. Then the outgoing Chief has some words of praise for his brother in arms, Sheriff Scott Busching, who only two weeks ago handed in his resignation to the Williams County Commissioners.
“We’ve been friends forever,” said Lokken. “Working in Crosby, we were sergeants together, assistants for our departments together and Chief and Sheriff. Even when I announced my retirement I believe he personally believed this, that he saw I was leaving and knew he couldn’t do the job without me,” said the Chief as the standing room crowd broke into laughter and applause.
Finally, Police Commissioner Tate Cymbaluk presented the Chief with a surprise going away present. “I am not sure why you are a Vikings’ fan, but God bless you. (laughter) We have rounded up two tickets to the Chicago Bears game. We’re flying you and your wife down, you’re spending three nights down there, it’s on us,” said Cymbaluk.
James Lokken, now private citizen can focus his early mornings on pheasant hunting with his wife, although he’s been assured the welcome mat is always out for morning coffee at the Law Enforcement Center.