MUSCATINE, Iowa–Phil Sargent took an interest in police work in high school after talking to some neighbors and family members in the profession. His passion grew, and he studied law enforcement at the University of Wisconsin.
In 1989 right after graduation, Sargent started looking for his first job as a police officer. “I told my parents I intended to take the first job I was offered,” he recalls.
On April 10, 1989, the Muscatine Police Department contacted him offering him a position as an officer. He accepted and planned to reevaluate his position after a few years on the job. Sargent stayed with the department for 31 years, advancing through five ranks in the process. On Jan. 4, Sargent officially retired from the department. He looks forward to starting a new chapter of his life and has many fond memories of his time on the force.
After starting out as an officer and later detective, Sargent attained the rank of corporal in 1991, sergeant in 1994, lieutenant in 1996, administrative lieutenant in 1998, and assistant chief in 2010. During his time as an administrative lieutenant, Sargent helped the department receive its initial Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies accreditation in 2000 and renew it an additional six times.
Additionally, Sargent played an important role in getting the Shop With a Cop program started to help students in need get holiday gifts each December. “Shop with a Cop holds a very dear spot in my heart,” reflected Sargent. “We’ve helped a lot of people in tumultuous parts of their lives and kids and families who might not have been able to have as eventful or good of a Christmas,” he added.
As Sargent started out his retirement, he looked back fondly on his years with the department and knows he will miss working with the other officers and the opportunities it gave him to work with the community. “It’s been a pleasure to be part of that family,” he said. “The amount of support the community has given the Muscatine Police Department is exceptional.”
In his retirement, Sargent plans to take a part time job that allows him to work from home. He also looks forward to completing home repair projects, bicycling more once it gets warmer, and traveling more with his wife.