1st Sgt. C.M. Tedder’s career with the N.C. State Highway Patrol started about 25 years ago as a trooper in Troop F in Iredell County.
That career ended Friday in Burke County when he signed off for the last time around 2 p.m., heading into the golden years.
In between, he’s worked all around the state. From Iredell County, Tedder said he was transferred to Wilkes, Ashe and Buncombe counties as a trooper. He spent a year in Raleigh as a Basic Patrol School staff assistant, then spent a year as an armory staff assistant before he was promoted to sergeant and sent to Troop C, District 4, to cover Vance, Franklin and Warren counties.
After that, he spent another four years as the lead firearms instructor for the patrol before he was promoted to 1st sergeant and assigned back to Troop F, District 1, in Burke County.
“It’s really pretty neat that I started my career in Troop F and finishing my career in Troop F,” he said. “Kind of a unique and wonderful way to finish.”
He came to the patrol after about four years as an officer with the Greensboro Police Department, where he started in 1990.
Out of those 30 some years in law enforcement, there wasn’t one thing that stood out more than others.
“Having been a part of something bigger than yourself, being able to contribute back to society,” Tedder said of his favorite thing about being a trooper.
It’s a career that has left him with fond memories, like those he has from his time working at the Basic Patrol School.
“Getting to see people maturing into state troopers,” Tedder said. “Watching civilians maturing into state troopers.”
Paying a cost
There also were sacrifices made along the way.
“Missing a lot of time with family, late nights, being called out in the middle of the night, missing holidays, birthdays, just missing time with family,” he said.
For anyone out there hoping to get into law enforcement, Tedder encouraged making sure it was the right path to take.
“My recommendation to anybody getting in law enforcement: you better have a true, deep level of commitment to serving your community and abiding by the state and U.S. Constitution,” he said.
Now, Tedder is looking forward to enjoying some time doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants.
“For the first time in 30 years, I don’t have anyone giving me orders, so my intention is to do exactly what I want to do for at least the next six months, then potentially look at other options,” he said. “I intend to enjoy the hobbies I have and enjoy a new chapter of life.”
But before he started that new chapter in life, he said goodbye and gave his thanks for the previous one.
“It has truly been an honor to serve my community and actually make it to retirement,” he said.