MOULTRIE — After serving in law enforcement for almost 40 years, Moultrie Police Commander Isaac James has decided to call it a career.

James said he recently announced his plans to retire from the Moultrie Police Department. His final day will be Tuesday, Sept. 22, with a luncheon planned in his honor on Friday, Sept. 18.

Starting with the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office in 1970, James said he worked a weekend shift with them for about two years. He went from there to the Moultrie Police Department in 1972, and has remained there since then.

“It’s really been a good and rewarding career,” James said. “I’ve really enjoyed it. I hope I’ve been able to help out a lot of people. I have watched the people, the times and Moultrie change.”

A lot has changed for the Moultrie Police Department since he started working with them, James said. When he started, moonshine was considered the biggest problem for officers to resolve. In today’s field, illegal drugs such as cocaine and marijuana have become the biggest issues. Domestic disputes, however, have remained the same in his 37 years at the department.

James said he spent the majority of his career working the beat, becoming a corporal then being promoted to sergeant. He became a shift supervisor while a sergeant, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant before being named a commander. The titles, however, have not been what’s most important to James in his career.

“That’s never been a big thing to me,” James said. “I like working the street and being involved in helping people.”

Of all the many cases he was involved in, James said there was one in particular that he will always remember. A Moultrie man had murdered his live-in girlfriend and stole a car before being apprehended in Pelham.

When he was brought back to Moultrie, James said there was no concrete evidence to show the man had murdered his girlfriend. As he was being processed, James looked at the man’s shoe and found some blood in a crease, which was found to have been the girlfriend’s blood.

“I was just in the right place at the right time,” James said.

One police program James said he would like to see reinstituted was the formation of a Special Division Unit that he commanded. He was put in charge of the SDU to investigate a series of incidents where a group of people fired guns at houses from their cars.

James said it was able to resolve the shootings about a month after it was formed. They did so by evidence such as finding guns in a park prior to one of the drive-by shootings was to take place. He would like to see the SDU brought back to help solve a series of burglaries currently gripping Moultrie.

“(The SDU) worked real well,” James said. “I would like to see it again to help solve all these burglaries.”

James said he already has several plans for himself once he completes his service to the Moultrie Police Department. He will be kept busy with keeping up several rental homes he owns here and in Jones County.

In addition to keeping up the rental houses, James said he will finally be able to make use of a fishing pond near the properties. He also plans to do a little traveling with his wife, Barbara, who currently works in the nursery at Colquitt Regional Medical Center.

“It’s been a really good career,” James said. “I just kind of ran out of energy.”

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