Detroit Police Sergeant celebrates 50 years on the job

Detroit Police Sgt. Raymond Yee was looking for a change in February of 1971 and he signed up for the Detroit Police Department. He hasn't needed a new job ever since.

At the time, he was making $32,000 a year at a tool and die job but moved to a $8,500 a year job at the Detroit Police Department. He said he didn't want to make car parts, he wanted to make a difference.

"Tired of working all the hours in an enclosed area for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week," Yee said."I started off at the first precinct. I believe why they put me there was that at the time they had a Chinatown here."

The years passed and Yee's responsibility steadily grew.

"I went to VICE, I worked there for several years. I worked in a unit called major crimes mobile unit, I worked at sex crimes as an investigator, I taught at the academy," he said. 

During his climb in duties, he also climbed to the rank of Sergeant and achieved many proud moments while saving several lives.

"Two men were in a fire and me and my partner Danny Parish kicked in the door and got them out to safety," he said.

He's 78 now and February marks 50 years in policing including how it's changed in those five decades.

"The citizens were more friendly and gave you more information and helped you. The citizens now sort of afraid to help you," he said.

Detroit Police Sgt Raymond Yee walked away from a well-paying job 50 years ago and has never looked back.

Being on the Blue Line has given him perspective on topis we talk about regularly, like police brutality:

"Try to weed out the bad people but you can't," he said.

And defunding the police:

"Whenever the defunded the police, crime went up substantially." 

As Yee reflects on current issues facing police, he understands the goal was and will always be to keeping people safe.

After 50 years on the job, he has zero plans to retire.

"Not at this time. As long as my health stays as it is," he said.