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31 years of making Clarkston safe

Under Sheriff Mike McCabe presents Sgt. Paul Bidinger with his retirement plaque. Photo by Trevor Keiser (click for larger version)
March 09, 2011 - After 31 years of service as an Oakland County Sheriff's deputy, Sgt. Paul Bidinger is trading in his gun and badge for golf courses, grandbabies and family time.

"I'm just glad he's retiring, it will be nice," said Rhonda Bidinger, Paul's wife. "I look forward to having him home after 31 years and the stress will just melt."

Family, friends and coworkers gathered at Independence Township Sheriff's substation on March 4 to celebrate Paul's retirement.

"Today was exceptional, we have the best community in Clarkston and Independence Township and we're supported by the community," Paul said. "My coworkers are top notch people and for them to come out to make this day special for me is beyond my wildest dreams."

He also noted he loved working with Independence Township Fire Department Chief Steve Ronk and the rest of the firefighters.

"Independence Township Fire Department is the top fire department in Oakland County," Paul said.

Under Sheriff Mike McCabe said he received an e-mail from Bidinger the night before, thanking the Oakland County Sheriff Department for letting him be employed with them and how great the sheriff's office is.

"I wish we had 1,200 employees like Paul, the guy is a class act," McCabe said. "You never hear him complain, he looks for solutions for things, he's the constant professional and we're going to miss him tremendously."

Capt. Doug Molinar agreed Bidinger was "one of Oakland County's finest."

"He's a great commander, he's well liked, he's done a great job," Molinar said. "It will be a big loss for the sheriff's office and I'm sad to see him go."

Township Supervisor Dave Wagner said Paul will be missed in Independence.

"He's one of those people who you say 'no one is irreplaceable,'" Wagner said. He's such a good person."

Independence Township Substation Commander Dale LaBair, who's been a personal friend of Paul's for over 30 years, agreed.

"Paul's been out here for 10 years plus and done an excellent job. He's the go to guy for us and the one who spearheaded all of our local events and did all that stuff," LaBair said. "He's going to be a tough guy to replace. I got a good kid who is going to replace him, but he's got some big shoes to fill and he knows it."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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