Retired Cleveland Police Captain Joe Sadie said he’ll always be a policeman.

“I may be retired,” he said, “but it will always be in my heart.”

The police department hosted a retirement dinner for Sadie Thursday at the Ridge Manor Party Center in Brooklyn. His last day of work was April 8–his 66th birthday.

Sadie founded the police department’s Cops and Kids program–a charity that eased the pain of poverty in Cleveland.  For 20 years, officers delivered food, toys, clothing, and appliances to needy families.

Sadie called Cops and Kids “the most successful community relations program in the history of the Cleveland Police Department.”

“What a phenomenal way to endear yourself to the people who never had any dealings with police,” he said. “Instead of calling them because of a problem, the policemen sensed a need and came back and took care of it.”

Sadie hopes the department will find a way to continue the charity in his retirement.

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