After 27 years with the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP), Lt. Keith Dreiling has decided to retire.
"I really enjoyed my time with the highway patrol, Dreiling said, "but it's time to move on and look for new opportunities."
Dreiling completed his training at the Training Academy in Salina, and then was told where his duty station would be, Dodge City.
"Back then, you didn't know where they would place you until you completed training," Dreiling said. "Nowadays, they give you a little more warning."
Dreiling was happy to be stationed in Dodge. Although he is originally from Victoria, he had graduated from Dodge City Community College, and had worked previously in Cimarron, so he knew the area pretty well. His wife, Linda, was also from Ashland, so in many ways Dreiling said the move felt like going home.
From 1985 to 1993 Dreiling worked in Dodge City, and he still has many fond memories of that time. A few that still stick out in his mind include the Excel riots that occurred in late 1992, a few jail escapes and multiple wrecks.
But more than anything, Dreiling remembers the people he worked with, many of whom are still here in Dodge.
"I made several friends during my time in Dodge," he said, "people I'm still friends with to this day."
In December 1993, Dreiling transferred to the Kansas Turnpike, stationed in Emporia. He stayed there until 2005, when he transferred to Governor's Security in Topeka. In 2007 he transferred once more, this time to the patrol's General Headquarters, then in 2008 he transferred one final time to the Professional Standards Unit where he remained until his retirement.
Dreiling said he's not exactly sure what he would like to do now, but he does plan to stay in the Topeka area, near both his children.
"My son and daughter both live a few hours away from us where we are now," Dreiling said. "It's nice to be close to them, and my parents, and my wife's parents aren't too far away either."
During his career with the Patrol, Dreiling served as a field training officer for Technical Trooper Jim Keltner, retired Capt. Daniel Meyer, and Trooper Ryan Filson, now a deputy U.S. marshal. He was one of five troopers in the state assigned to the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Pilot Project in 1991; received a KDOT ProActive Traffic Enforcement Award in 1999; and served on the Meet and Confer Team in 2000 and 2004, according to a recent press release from KHP.
"When I first applied to be a highway patrolman, I just did it because it was something that had always interested me, and I thought I'd be good at it," Dreiling said. "And I have really enjoyed my time here."