Trooper Mark Gilberg always ended his patrol shift the same way for 37 years but on this day his shift ended very differently. For most of us, jobs become a part of our routine and who we are. In fact, most of us find ourselves spending more time with coworkers at our job more than with our own families at home. Mark Gilberg spent 37 years as a trooper for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
During that time he’s made about 50,000 traffic stops.
He also been involved in car chases, responded to accidents, and has even had to deliver terrible news to families telling them their loved one passed away.
“I’ve seen just about everything it’s been interesting. It has its ups and downs, it’s very stressful career,” Mark told 2KUTV.
However, it was his very last call on March 30, 2018, that earned him worldwide acclaim. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=113782819389726&set=pb.100022740255918.-2207520000..&type=3 His wife Carol of 40 years caught him taking the call on video and it ended up going viral after his son put it on social media.
Carol had wanted the video as a keepsake to commemorate her husband’s time on the police force.
The video ended up going viral because of its emotional content. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154716058424317&set=pb.693234316.-2207520000..&type=3 It shows Mark in his police car wiping tears away from his eyes.
He clears his throat and struggles to gain composure before picking up his police radio.
“I tried to not become emotional. I did everything in my power not to,” Mark said.
“I don’t know, it just hit me. I don’t know how to explain it.”
Those tears earned him more than five million views.
“I just remembered all my friends in the department that have passed away either by natural cases or line of duty deaths and I thought about seeing the incredibly beautiful Escalante National Monument every day on my drive home from work,” he told the police department’s website.
“I’ve always admired police officers and I always will.”
When the dispatcher answers the radio, Mark announces it is his last call and the dispatcher tells him that everyone else on the other end of the radio is getting emotional too. SOURCE: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT He then thanks everyone that’s ever helped or worked with him explaining that it was an honor and privilege to serve as a trooper with Arizona State.
“It’s been a great ride. Thank you very much and keep smiling,” he says ending the call.
Mark then breaks down in tears again before the video ends.
“He was taking people’s shifts and showing no signs of slowing down in the days before his official retirement date. I told him to ease up because I didn’t want him to spend his retirement going to court on his cases,” said Sgt. John Bottoms who described Mark’s work ethic as “legendary.”
Mark spent the entirety of his police career working in Highway Patrol. Arizona State Police said he is believed to be the longest-serving uniformed trooper in the State Highway Patrol’s history.
“I’m grateful that it’s over but I miss it,” Mark said of his job.
Mark who intends to spend his retirement traveling and spending time with his grandkids, never imaged the video of his final call would go viral. His story was featured on NBC News, Fox and Friends, and lots of other media outlets. We’re even writing about it two years later!
NEW: Video of #AZ trooper Mark Gilberg breaking down as he signs off one last time, marking his retirement, has gone viral.
He's now home with family in #Kanab & talks about his career, emotions, and what's next. Tune in @KUTV2News at 6:00. #kutv2news #SoUT pic.twitter.com/GV3hOcdqDC
— DJ Bolerjack (@DJBolerjack) April 5, 2018
“It’s pretty funny; You know it all started when my son suggested that my wife videotape the final call. He thought it would be a great memento for the family,” he said. “At his urging, we put the video on YouTube and from there my phone started exploding. It’s been a great tribute. I loved my job,”
And that extremely evident in the video below.
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Article Sources: RACHEL GILBERG 2KUTV ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY