The Van Buren Police Department has honored a 28-year veteran officer upon his retirement.

Cpl. Rick Patterson was hired in 1987 as an animal-control officer. He moved through the ranks, holding the jobs of patrol officer, detective, evidence officer and school resource officer, according to Detective Jonathan Wear with the Van Buren Police Department.

Patterson graduated from the Police Academy in October 1990 and has spent the past six years as school resource supervisor.

In 1996, Patterson was promoted to corporal and eventually became a certified law-enforcement instructor. He obtained numerous certifications during his time with the department, Wear said.

Patterson achieved his senior certificate in 2006, which is the highest law-enforcement certificate issued by the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. He was named the department’s officer of the year for 2013.

Police Chief Kenneth Bell said Patterson has served with honor and integrity for 28 years and is well liked by the community and his colleagues.

"Rick has also been an excellent liaison between the Van Buren Police Department and the Van Buren School District during his tenure as school resource supervisor over the past six years," War said.

Upon retiring this, Patterson was presented with his duty weapon and badge.

"We appreciate his service over the past 28 years to the citizens of Van Buren," Bell said.