ALBURTIS POLICE DEPARTMENT
Sgt. Jay Ruff retired from the Alburtis Police Department after 43 years of service in the community he has lived in all of his life. In honor of his service, a retirement dinner was held recently at Lehigh Lodge on Route 100 in Macungie.
Approximately 50 people attended the dinner including Alburtis Police Chief Robert Palmer and his wife Jill, all Alburtis police officers, Mayor Kathleen Palmer, Retired Police Chief Kenneth Solomon, several council members, William Royer from the office of Ryan Mackenzie, R-134th, and Ruff’s family members.
Family in attendance included police officers. Lt. Mark C. Ruff who has been in law enforcement for 25 years and worked on President George Herbert Walker Bush’s private detail and is currently with the South Whitehall Police Department and Lt. Ruff’s nephew, Patrolman Eric B. Ruff, who has served with the Allentown Police Department for 10 years.
Humorous stories were shared by other Alburtis police officers and friends of past events over the years during the dinner.
“What I appreciate the most is his service in Vietnam,” Chief Palmer said during his presentation.
Mayor Kathleen Palmer made three presentations.
Ruff enlisted in the Navy when he was 18 years old and served for four years, two months and 28 days. Ruff earned the rank of E5 Second Class Quarter Master. During that time he served three tours in Vietnam, received two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts and numerous other medals and crossed the equator when going to Alaska.
Following his return from Vietnam, when he was 22 years old, Ruff was hired with the Alburtis Police Department and spent his law enforcement career there.
As the event was drawing to a close Ruff thanked his wife Joanne, his son and daughter and family.
“We might be hicks from the sticks but we stick together. It’s been a great time in the borough. I loved serving the people of Alburtis. Ninety-nine percent of the people in Alburtis were always good to me,” Ruff said.
“People get mad when you give them a ticket.”
Ruff talked about his time in the service.
“The reason I went there (Vietnam) was because of all the people here. I do not want Communism in our country.
You will always be in my heart and my thoughts,” Ruff said of his time with the department.