MADISON – Tuesday was the last day Somerset County Chief Deputy James Ross will pin a badge to his shirt. After a career in law enforcement that spanned more than four decades, Ross is retiring.
Forty-two years ago, Gerald Ford was president of the United States. It also was 42 years ago when Ross first entered the law enforcement ranks, starting his career as a game warden and retiring from that service after 21 years.
“As a kid, you always had dreams of what you wanted to be. Being a game warden was one. The other was being in regular law enforcement,” Ross said.
Joining the Skowhegan Police Department made that dream come true for Ross, who later accepted a position with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s living the dream every day,” he said.
Four decades wearing a badge have been filled with a multitude of experiences, some to be stored away, others to be shared.
For example, as a warden, he came upon a man who had issues with his father.
“Searching the house, there was a human skull on his headboard. And, I said, ‘So where’d you get the head?’ He said, ‘That’s my father.’ And I said, ‘Where’d you get your father’s head?’ He said, ‘Oh, I dug his grave up,'” Ross recalled.
Ross said he doesn’t regret a day on the job.
“For 42 years, I couldn’t wait to roll out of bed to go to work,” he said.