Urbana Police Lt. Seth King retired this week after 25 years of service to the community with the Urbana Police Division.
“It’s a good feeling, an accomplished feeling,” King said Thursday about his retirement. “But I guess I’m a little apprehensive. This is something new now and this is what I’ve known for 25 years.”
A native of West Liberty, King graduated from West Liberty-Salem High School in 1985 and from Wheaton University in Wheaton, Illinois.
The first police department King worked for was the Dallas Police Department.
“I spent a week on the street with my (field training officer) and I was a bit overwhelmed,” King said. “I ended up resigning and coming back home. I was homesick at the time and felt like I was a little bit out of my comfort zone.”
King would return to the local area to work with his family at Marie’s Candies, West Liberty, when he learned the Urbana Police Division was hiring.
“I saw that Urbana was hiring and I thought ‘I don’t know that I gave law enforcement enough of a chance’ plus I had my aunt encourage me to apply at the time so I applied here and got hired,” King said.
King was hired as a patrol officer in February 1992. When he was hired, current Urbana Police Chief Matt Lingrell was King’s field training officer.
In a letter to the editor previously featured in the Daily Citizen, Lingrell expressed how thankful he was for King’s years of service to the community.
“I will always be thankful that it was you who were in the arena, with me, helping the Urbana Police Division to meet the everyday challenges we face in providing safety and community outreach services for this great city we call Urbana,” Lingrell stated. “Remain faithful, positive and humble as you move onto the next challenge in life. Thank you for your friendship and for the service you’ve given to the police division and our community. Your legacy with us will live on in the many lives you’ve touched as a police officer.”
Some of the people who King said were influential in his career included Lingrell, Sgt. Josh Jacobs, Judge Nick Selvaggio and his family.
From 1995 through 1997, King worked with local school and senior citizen leaders while serving as the division’s youth and elderly officer. After being promoted to sergeant in 2002, King oversaw the daily operations of a patrol shift until 2008 when he became the supervisor of the division’s Criminal Investigative Unit.
King was promoted to the lieutenant position in January 2012. He said his proudest accomplishment as a lieutenant has been helping in the hiring process of quality people who will take the police division into the future.
Regarding his future, King said he has no definite plans but wants to get another job.
King said the most enjoyable aspect of working within the Urbana community for so many years has been trying to make a difference.
“Just being a part of the Urbana community and trying in some small way to make Urbana a little bit better and I hope I’ve done that through the years,” King said. “It’s been a formative time for me, this is all I’ve known for 25 years and so to leave that and move onto something different it’s been a great experience and it’s kind of made me who I am.”
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.