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'We have the watch from here' - Bellingham Lieutenant retires after 33 years

Lt. Bob Vander Yacht (Bellingham Police Department Photo)

Bellingham Police Department Lt. Bob Vander Yacht retired Friday after working for BPD for 33 years.

"My career with Bellingham PD has truly been a blessing," Lt. Vander Yacht said in a press release. "I take great pride in knowing that our agency is an industry leader in training and innovation. I am thankful to have worked with amazing people who truly care. Part of the challenge of police work is the unknown. The job is inherently dangerous as officers engage with people who are at the peak of crisis. I bow down to our officers who respond to these unknowns with great courage, patience and compassion."

Listen as Lt. Vander Yacht signs off for the last time:

According to a press release from BPD, Lt. Vander Yacht started his career as a reserve officer in 1984 and was hired and a full-time officer in 1985.

He has served as a K-9 handler, K-9 unit trainer, filed training officer, master patrol officer, training officer and range officer.

Lt. Vander Yacht also spent some time with specialty teams, such as precision marksman on SWAT and a bomb technician with the Hazardous Devices Unit. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2007 and then to Lieutenant in 2011. He ends his career leading the Community Outreach Program.

When Lt. Vander Yacht signed off for the last time, he said, "I'd like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to all my law enforcement sisters and brothers. Please know you do make a difference in the lives of those you encounter."

The 911 operator responds, "It has been an honor sir. Enjoy your well deserved and earned retirement. We have the watch from here."

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