Thursday, February 16, 2023, 4:32 PM CST
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) – The most decorated Wichita police officer in history has officially hung up his badge after 43 years. Patrol Officer Robert Bob Bachman first started work in February of 1980.
Bob Bachman was known on the streets as “Dirty Harry”. He recalled his career spanning four decades. And it’s not just his former colleagues who have said nice things about him. But also the first boss of him.
“I loved being a patrol officer. I was good at it. I had no desire to move up and get involved in politics once you start moving up the ranks,” Bachman said.
Robert Bob Bachman was satisfied with being a patrol officer for four decades. But he wasn’t just a patrol officer. He was an original member of several special teams including the swat team, the scat team and the drive-by task force.
“With the Bob Bachmans of the world. Anyone who has those kinds of people in their department makes their boss job extremely easy,” said Richard LaMunyon, Bob’s first police chief.
Bachman was also at the forefront of the story. He was in the midst of riots in the 80s during the civil unrest in Wichita.
“I was in the riot in 1980. I was actually in high school. And they called us. It was a crazy night,” Bachman said.
It also played a role in fighting gangs. And the surge of crack cocaine in the streets.
“Working in areas of town that were extremely rough in the 80s and 90s. Crack alley on 9th street. Dealing with all gang members. Watching the influx of crack cocaine when it came to Wichita,” Bachman said.
So how has the job changed after all these years?
“Everyone has a cell phone, everyone has a camera, probably the most important thing. People watch what we do. It’s very different than it was in 1980, believe me. You could shoot criminals fleeing in 1980 when I arrived,” he said. said Bachmann.
So what will happen to the now retired decorated patrol officer?
“I’m going to join the reserves and help teach defensive tactics a little more. Maybe I go out and drive once in a while,” Bachman said.
Bachman says the department purged filming of fleeing criminals in 1983. During his retirement party, the Wichita Metro Crime Commission honored Bachman. One of the board members asked him to join, paying for the first year of membership.