Where Volunteers Make a Difference

A Tradition of Service

Bob Rahn

Bob Rahn spent his career in public service, first as an Army combat helicopter pilot in Viet Nam and later as a patrol officer and detective for the Madison Police Department (MPD).  So, it's no surprise that when he retired, his commitment to service didn't stop.  In 2002, Rahn was asked to lead ROAR, the Retired Officer Advisory Resource for MPD.

These retired officers assist the department in investigations of cold cases, warrants, thefts, officer training, forensics, and other specialties of their former careers.  Their help provides extra time for sworn MPD personnel to pursue their daily assignments.  ROAR officers also provide valuable service in responding to community questions and complaints, often from older residents.  They offer information, advocacy and service to help everyone in the community feel safe.

Rahn logs an average of 90 volunteer hours a month leading the ROAR group.  But he says that he gains as much as he gives.  "One of the most rewarding aspects of this assignment is not only are we providing assistance to the community and individuals in general," Rahn explains, "but it provides this 70-year-old with mental and physical activities to keep me healthy in my retirement."

Rahn also works to recruit newly retired officers to ROAR and other community service opportunities with RSVP.  He explains his personal philosophy on volunteering, "I feel that volunteering my time is a continuance of my respect for myself and for my parents' era, when everything wasn't done just for money, but for self-satisfaction and as a community contribution."  And that's an important tradition for all of us to carry on.