Mark Jedd last week ended a 31-year law enforcement career in Cheektowaga with a rousing sendoff that included an escort home by a squadron of Cheektowaga's first responders.
Jedd, hired as a patrolman in 1986, wore many hats during his more than three decades with the department, said Assistant Chief James J. Speyer Jr.
Jedd, a volunteer firefighter, supervised the Fire Investigation Unit and served as the department's training officer during his tenure. He earned 15 letters of commendation, six specialty unit awards and seven Distinguished Conduct awards.
"Mark had a way of putting people at ease and was able to talk to anyone," Speyer said. "He realized early on that talking to people is 90 percent of the job, and he did it well."
After five years, Jedd was promoted to detective and specialized in gang intelligence.
"He knew the players and what gangs they belonged to," Speyer said. "When you have a mall or the Fourth of July, and you have all these gangs showing up, this knowledge was critical in heading off trouble before it happened."
Jedd was an arson investigator for 26 years and a member of the Cheektowaga Police Honor Guard for 28 years. His most notable role, according to Speyer, was as an auto theft investigator.
"He had a huge case in '06 where he was able to uncover an auto theft ring that resulted in the recovery of 82 stolen vehicles valued at more than $1 million from an auto parts business in Lancaster," said Speyer.
More than 170 people attended his retirement party, said Speyer.
"He cared about the department and the people he worked with," said Speyer. "He worked hard every day, right to the end and recovered a stolen car two days before his retirement.
"Everyone knew Mark Jedd," Speyer said. "He was old school."