ORLANDO, Fla. — Who says you have to stop working when you retire? An 85-year-old Central Floridian has been going to work, post-retirement, for the past couple of decades to help his community.
Johnny Stringer volunteers with the Orlando Police Department to engage with residents and fight crime, and he's not letting his age stop him from making a difference in his community.
"Well, I thought I could be some help, really, then I got into it, and it's still here," Stringer said, explaining why he joined the OPD Citizens Observers Program.
Stringer, who is a retired member of the Navy, a former business owner and a two-time Everyday Hero, joined the Program in 2003, and says he loves every day. Stringer receives his “marching orders,” then starts his drive around Orlando, looking for anything out of the ordinary.
"Anything that looks suspicious, you know, along here — maybe kids running in the street, looking for people that perhaps are maybe being selling dope this kind of stuff," he said. "I'm not allowed to question them, or say anything to them as a matter of fact, but just notice and observe."
If Stringer notices something, he does what the police always say: see something, say something.
"Mr. Stringer has volunteered over 25,000 hours of his time to the program," said OPD Sgt. Merius Gedeon.
Stringer says he's motivated by the community support.
"The feedback that I get from people when they tell me, 'Well, we're glad to see you in the neighborhood,' that sort of thing," he said.
For more information on the Citizens Observer Program, visit the Orlando Police Department's website.