• September 18, 2019

Goodson retires from OPD to become art teacher - Odessa American: State Government

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Goodson retires from OPD to become art teacher

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2019 5:46 pm

After Thursday’s retirement ceremony at the Odessa Police Department, Craig Goodson jokingly said “It’s just Craig now.”

That will change in about two weeks when he becomes “Mr. Goodson” as he’s scheduled to join the UTPB STEM Academy to teach art from second-graders to sixth-graders this upcoming school year.

Goodson retired as an OPD sergeant and is eager to begin his teaching responsibilities on Aug. 2.

“It’s something that I’m excited and looking forward to, because it’s all going to be new and it’s going to be an opportunity to learn,” Goodson said.

Goodson served as a peace officer for the last 21 years — four years at Odessa College and 17 for OPD. About three years ago, Goodson admitted he started to think about retirement from OPD.

However, he explained the first 15 years as an OPD officer were exciting. Goodson was part of the SWAT team, tactical flight officer, traffic unit and field training officer throughout his time at OPD.

“I’m a former Marine, so I’ve spent pretty much my entire adult life serving,” Goodson said. “I’m still going to be serving. It’s just under a different capacity. The day-in and day-out of is this going to be the call that gets me or am I going to have to shoot somebody. It was just wearing on me to the point where I didn’t want to have to deal with it anymore.”

During Thursday’s retirement ceremony, Goodson received many accolades including a plaque signed by Odessa Police Department Chief Michael Gerke, a retirement badge, a large wooden badge with ‘Shift B’ engraved on it and a collection of patches.

Many officers shared memories of Goodson and the positive impact he made on the department.

“Craig was a field training officer and he trained a lot of officers in this room” Gerke said during his speech as he looked through the crowd of officers gather in the OPD classroom. “I understand that Craig is retiring to become a teacher and I wish him the best of luck.”

Goodson said the area he will miss the most is camaraderie with his fellow officers.

Yet, Goodson admitted was time to leave OPD. He said he has adjusted to civilian much quicker than what he had expected. Goodson also mentioned he finished his 30th guitar on Thursday.

“There’s nothing that makes you feel better about life knowing when you are going into a bad situation that the guy beside you is beside you and he’s going to stay there until it’s all said and done,” Goodson said. “You don’t find that a lot in any other career.”

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