San Francisco's oldest serving uniformed officer retires this week

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - San Francisco's oldest serving uniformed police officer is retiring this week.

Seventy-eight-year old Officer Marco Desangles became a law enforcement officer in 1960.

He's spent his entire career in San Francisco; more than three decades of it with the San Francisco Police Department. "I've always wanted to be a cop," Desangeles said at a surprise retirement party at Mission Station on Wednesday morning. "So I guess it's time to leave."

That didn't happen without a lot of parting hugs. Desangeles is known for his hugs and humor.

"They used to say if you could bottle the water at Mission Station and put it in every cop on the planet, every cop would be cool," Chief Greg Suhr said looking at Desangles. "There's an example of it right there. He's money. He's great!"

The room was filled with food, balloons, and police. Many of them traveled from out of state to be there for the big celebration.

"You don't get that for anybody who isn't absolutely special, and Marco is that," explained retired SFPD Lt. Gabe Oberhoffer, who used to work patrol in the Mission before he retired at 61-years old.

"Look around the room." "He's never grumpy he's never disgruntled," remarked Officer Kevin Brugaletta, who's been with SFPD for a comparatively short eight years. "He's the happiest guy!"

Fellow officers say he's a fixture in the Mission. "Marco was a community police officer before we had a name for it," his captain pointed out. Every day, Desangles packed an extra sandwich, to give to a homeless person. "We aren't just here to arrest the bad guys," Desangles said. "We're also here to help the people who need it."

Friday is Desangeles' final day on the job. "Every day is good for me. Once I put this uniform on, that's all I want to be," he said with a smile. "And God willing, in the next life I'm going to come back as chief!"