Congratulations and thank you to Westlake Police Capt. Guy Turner as he celebrates his 32nd anniversary with the Westlake Police Department today.
Think about the changes Capt. Turner has seen since his early days on the force, beginning in 1984.
Do any particular memories of that long-ago Westlake – a Westlake with acres of vineyards – stand out in his mind?
“Yes,” says Capt. Turner. “The farms (espescially the Juergemeier spread, where the Promenade and Crocker Park are now) are gone and so are the vineyards.”
Longtime Westlakers may still recall the bucolic sight of the Juergermeier brothers picking tomatoes in their coveralls and straw hats with red barns in the erstwhile Rockwell-esque background.
“No more rounding up stray horses; that was quite an undertaking for a fella from West Park,” adds Capt. Turner. “I also miss Michael’s Deli at Center Ridge Rd. and Horseshoe Blvd. We used to feed the prisoners lunch from there.” Lucky prisoners they were, Michael’s Poor Boys were a community staple as diners lined up at the deli counter amidst the pickle barrels to order their paper-wrapped sandwiches.
“Churches have sprung up or enlarged their facilities due to the city’s growth. A few have also shrunk,” adds Capt. Turner.
Less nostalgically, Capt. Turner adds, “There is lots more local-state-federal law enforcement cooperation, due to the threats to all of us. Much more paperwork when an arrest is made. So much for the vaunted paperless society. Info automation is a big help though.”
From a community perspective, Capt. Turner observes, “There are more chain restaurants and thus more choices for eating out. Just the same, I miss the Daishin at Walridge Plaza, Janie’s Restaurant on Center Ridge Road (where the Fountain is now), and Pete’s Restaurant (now Circle K), where I threw a party after I completed my civil service probationary period.”
Westlake has been Capt. Turner’s city of residence as well as employment. “I saved every penny I had (and some I had to borrow) to buy a house and move here on April 1, 1986. On April 1, 1990, I was promoted to sergeant. It was rather a red letter day for me,” he recalls. “I chose to buy homes here twice, and brought a bride and two boys along as time passed. Next time I move is when they put me in a home!”
Readers should also know that Capt. Turner authors the Westlake Police Department’s weekly press releases, unleashing his deeply-seated literary instincts by bringing the mundane to life and the extraordinary to comprehension with his missives.
All owe Capt. Turner and the entire Westlake Police Dept. a debt of gratitude for all their service. Anyone who has lived their life in Westlake knew it would someday become the burgeoning regional hub that it is today. But, despite the challenges brought by Westlake’s growth, the primary mission of the City at all times – to ensure the safety and security of one and all – has never been compromised.
It always comes down to people, and that is how Capt. Turner ends his anniversary reflection: “We have always had great neighbors of all stripes. Widows, other young families, newly marrieds, singles; they are one of the best things about Westlake,” he says.