A Cape Cod Times article written on March 22, 2019 by Geoff Spillane details Detective Reid Hall's final roll call ceremony after forty-four years serving on the Barnstable Police Department. Hall was presented with a House of Representatives citation from State Representative Will Crocker.
Barnstable detective retires after a last walk on his old beat
HYANNIS — Main Street in Hyannis was “memory lane” for Barnstable police Detective Reid Hall Friday morning, his last day on the job after nearly 45 years.
As a cold rain and wind buffeted downtown, Hall re-created the patrol route from Ocean Street to Sea Street that he first walked more than four decades ago as a summer officer.
A contingent of nearly 20 members of his family, friends and fellow officers walked behind Hall as he reminisced and pointed out where long-gone landmarks once were — there was a movie theater here, a Howard Johnson’s there.
“It’s the same footprint, just different names,” Hall said about downtown Hyannis.
He recalled his first summer working the beat in the early 1970s without a portable communication device and having to rely on police call boxes along Main Street and a “pocketful of dimes” to make phone calls, a far cry from today’s instant communication devices.
The final patrol capped off a morning of tribute to Hall, 65, who leaves an indelible mark on the community and at Barnstable High School, where he served as a school resource officer for 13 years. He started as the department’s Juvenile Officer in 1980.
“I’m so proud of the work he’s done,” said his son, Joshua Hall. “He’s made a difference in so many people’s lives.”
During his final roll call earlier in the day, more than 100 people, including many community leaders and elected officials, gathered at the Barnstable police station to honor Hall and wish him well in retirement.
During the roll call he was presented with a plaque and a retired Barnstable Police Department flag by Police Chief Matthew Sonnabend and a legislative citation from state Rep. William Crocker, R-Centerville.
“I would not change anything,” Hall told the audience. “I would absolutely do it again.”
Perhaps the hallmark of Hall’s legacy will be the student police academy he established in 2006 at Barnstable High School.
The academy provides a pathway to criminal justice careers for students through the study of criminology, correctional systems, the U.S. Constitution and Massachusetts General Law, according to Kris Dumas, a history teacher at the school who teaches the academy alongside Hall.
“Reid has been more than a school resource officer and community partner,” said Barnstable High School Principal Patrick Clark. “He’s a role model for students and a pillar of the community.”
Two of the academy’s current students, Barnstable High School seniors Breann Hill and Cory Wardwell, are interns with the Barnstable Police Department and joined Hall for his final patrol along Main Street.
“He has great war stories,” Cory said.
Hall spoke to the Times about some of the changes he’s witnessed during his tenure with the department — 44 years and eight months to be exact.
“The police department was a lot smaller then, maybe 40 people,” he said. “If we had one serious crime – a rape, a bank robbery – per year, it was a big deal.”
A combination of population growth and social ills have contributed to a hike in the area’s crime rate, and drug-related incidents and overdoses have also increased considerably, he said.
While now officially retired, Hall will still have a presence at the high school and in the community. He will continue to co-teach the student police academy, at least through the end of the school year, and has already been sworn in as special police officer in Barnstable to work details and other assignments.
“I’m excited for him, he’s had an amazing career,” said his wife, Leslie.
The Halls were married four years ago, but Leslie, a breast cancer survivor, was unable to travel at the time.
’We’re hoping to go on a trip,” she said. “Four years ago we weren’t able to have a honeymoon.”
As his final walk along Main Street came full circle and returned to the Ocean Street area, Hall said it brought back a lot of good memories and he thanked those who walked with him, but there was still one piece of unfinished business.
“This is Main Street one signing off,” he said during his last radio call. “Thank you.”