Salute the Badge: Undersheriff Phil Blume retires after 30 years of service in Shawnee Co.

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - After graduating from Washburn in 1989, Phil Blume began his career with the Shawnee Co. Sheriff's Office that September.

It's the same community he's served ever since.

"This has become home to me,” Blume said. “Thirty years seems like a long time when you think about somebody else, but for yourself, it seems very quick. It just doesn't seem that long. It's a little surreal."

On Friday, Blume was honored for his three decades of service surrounded by friends, family, and coworkers at his retirement celebration.

"You don't achieve things by yourself,” Blume said. “People have to help you to get to where you are to have success, and it's not you on your own. So that's what was important for me with this day, to express that to everybody."

The accomplishments of Blume’s career are many.

"I've had the opportunity to work in virtually every division in the Sheriff's Office, or if not worked directly in, at least supervise those divisions, and I've had the opportunity to serve in about every rank,” he said.

Among them: building the foundation of Shawnee County's school resource officer program, serving as the first polygraph examiner for the agency, and receiving a life-saving certificate from the American Red Cross for his efforts in saving the life of a Shawnee Heights High School parent in 2000.

Blume has also served on a number of committees over the years, including the Drug Endangered Children Board, Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board, Corrections Advisory Board, and Shawnee County Crime Stoppers.

Reflecting on thirty years with the Shawnee Co. Sheriff's Office, Blume says it's the people he'll remember most of all.

"I think at the end of your career you look at what's best, and the things that really happened, and that's what I think about. Relationships that I made with people over the years, that's what I've really enjoyed,” Blume said.

Relationships made in the community he served for so long.

"There's a lot of wonderful things here and there's a lot of great people, and that's what I get to look back on."