The Detroit police's longest-serving member isn't slowing down after more than 50 years

In 1967, Officer Tilman Blair joined the Detroit Police Department.

It's now 2024 - and Corporal Blair is still serving.

FOX 2: "Who's this handsome young guy?"

"I don't recognize him," he quipped.

Blair's quick wit and sense of humor along with his commitment, have served him well.

"You've got to be willing to serve the public and treat them the way that you want to be treated," he said.

But he hadn't expected to stay with DPD - he wanted to be an X-ray technician or real estate agent.

He had sung some backup for friend Nathaniel Mayer and wrote poetry when he was drafted in 1965 and sent to Japan - which he can still recite.

"For the world is full of you and I / Who cheat, steal and even lie / To keep what we have and to part for nothing / And remember always the worst but never the best / You and I.

When he returned home from the service, he thought he'd try being a police officer for one year.

"I hadn't looked at the police department as being a career  - it was going to be a step on the job to something else later," he said.

Now 80 years old, this great-grandfather works in traffic safety and coordinated crossing guards for the schools.

But he's ridden everything from the early scooters to the Harley-Davidsons. He has worked special events, escorting presidents - even spending time in 'Ident' - that's identifying fingerprints.

Long before there were computers, there were cards in file cabinets they had to examine one by one.

"At that time we did city prints - Detroit - state and FBI -  three prints - we did prints for each one," Blair said. "It was a job at the time and that's what you had to do."

"He told me he would never retire," said Sgt. Curtis Perry.

Perry is the longest serving active sergeant - he started at DPD in 1975 - and he's Cpl Blair's boss.

"He starts at 6:30 (but) he's there every morning at 6:15, and he has an impeccable memory and he's very resourceful - very resourceful," Perry said.

You would think at the age of 80, having served since 1967 that the corporal might be considering retirement - think again.

e told me he wasn't going to retire - that's what he told me - but he's an excellent worker and very resourceful we're glad to have him.

And we thank him for his service.

The DPD's Tilman Blair - then and now.

The DPD's Tilman Blair - then and now.