VIDEO: Valley CHP officer tears up during emotional final sign-off

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Valley CHP officer's emotional final sign-off call might just make you choke up too.

Sergeant Thomas R. Melden retired on Monday evening after 33 years of service as a California Highway Patrol officer.

Monday's sign-off call, recorded on video, was poignant for both Melden as well as the dispatcher, who said she had known him personally for 25 years.

"I could not have asked for a better friend I have in you," she said. "And I know no matter what, you always have my back. And no matter what, I will always have yours."

Melden could be seen wiping tears during her words.

Before joining the CHP, Melden served in the U.S. Army for 4 years. After graduating from the academy, he worked at San Jose and in the Hollister-Gilroy area before he was transferred to the Los Banos area, where he served as a traffic officer for 26 years.

He was promoted to sergeant in 2016.

During his final words, Melden thanked his fellow officers and the dispatchers he called their "first line of defense", and left them with a few words of wisdom -

"Always remember to treat each other as if they're family. And road dogs, remember to do what it takes to go home safe."

The video footage of the sign-off call was posted by CHP-Los Banos on their Facebook page. In their caption, they wrote. "You will be missed."
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