Don Van Zandt signed off for the last time Wednesday, September 18, 2019.

The final sign off marked the beginning of his retirement after 51 years of service in law enforcement.

Badge number 1345 began his career as an officer in 1968.

Of his more than five decades protecting and serving, Van Zandt spent 32 years in Sutton County. Since 1987, he has patrolled the roadways in and around Sonora as a DPS Trooper.

Judge Jody Harris said Van Zandt has been an asset to Sutton County. His dedication and contributions to the community are unparalleled, he added.

Spending the evening in the company of fellow officers, family, friends and members of the community, Van Zandt was presented with plaques and keepsakes as well as remarks from his peers.

He received special recognition for his service by State Representative Andrew Murr.

Closing out the evening, Van Zandt made his way to a DPS Cruiser parked under the pavilion and took a seat behind the wheel one last time.

Taking off his hat and setting it aside, he picked up the radio receiver and transmitted his final call.

Sutton County Sheriff’s Deputy Marcos Guajardo was on the other end of the radio.

“Badge Number 1345,” Guajardo said, “Thank you for your 51 years of dedicated service.”