25-year SPD veteran retires

Published 8:15 pm Saturday, September 24, 2011

Most folks look forward to retirement. But just a week shy of his own, Lt. Allan K. Iversen Jr. says the prospect of not going to work every day is “nerve-wracking.”

“I’ve been doing this for so long,” he said. “Come Oct. 1, I’m not going to be required to go to work.”


Iversen has been working for the Suffolk Police Department for 25 years. He’s reached his goals — to gain the rank of lieutenant and to be an instructor at the regional law enforcement academy. Now, he said, it’s time to give up his badge and gun.

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“I plan on enjoying my retirement,” he said, explaining why he’s retiring at the age of 50. “I’ve reached every goal I set for myself.”

Iversen first became interested in law enforcement work because of his uncle, who was a lieutenant in Appleton, Wis. But he never saw himself in a similar position.

“I always thought I’d be an FBI agent,” he said.

A native of Auburn, N.Y., Iversen received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Buffalo State College.

But life took a different direction from the FBI agent route. He spent a year with the California Highway Patrol and “didn’t care for it.” That’s when a relative told him that the Suffolk Police Department was hiring.

He took the job in August 1986 and made himself a staple in the department.

He did stints on the street and in administration. He was assigned to property and evidence, the warrant bureau and building maintenance.

But his greatest reward in law enforcement, he said, has been teaching firearms and driving courses at the regional police academy.

“The students get frustrated, but then that light bulb comes on, and they’ve just figured it out for themselves,” Iversen said.

He’s also been involved in a number of law enforcement charities, particularly the Fraternal Order of Police and Law Enforcement United. He doesn’t plan to back away from his involvement in either, he said.

“The Fraternal Order of Police is an organization where you can actually help others, and they can see police officers in a more positive light,” he said. With Law Enforcement United, “It’s important to remember officers who died and give their families support,” he said.

Iversen also has been involved with Suffolk Leadership Academy, which teaches ordinary citizens about Suffolk and how to make a difference in the city. He’s been surprised at how many people had never been to downtown Suffolk or other areas, he said.

“Their minds are boggled at how big this city is,” he said.

Iversen said he would not have made it 25 years in law enforcement without his wife, Martha. The couple will celebrate their 25th anniversary Nov. 29.

Despite being concerned about the economy and whether he’ll eventually have to go back to work part-time, Iversen said he is looking forward to retirement.

“I’m looking forward to relaxing and not responding to all the hurricanes and tornados,” he said.