After three decades with the Ector County Sheriff’s Office, Gary Duesler decided to retire earlier than expected.
The Odessa native had previously set a retirement date at the end of 2020, however, Duesler moved that timeframe ahead a couple of months.
Duesler completed his final shift as the public information officer with ECSO on Friday. Duesler said during a phone interview that he plans to continue to live in the area and relax during retirement.
“My plan for retirement is to be able to do things on my time,” Duesler said. “If I want to mow the yard in the morning, I will or if I want to sit here and watch the TODAY Show and eat breakfast until 11, that’s what I’ll do.
“After a certain time in your life, you earn that for yourself. It’s time to kind of push that pause button and sit back and reflect. It’s going to be time for me and my family.”
Duesler joined ECSO as a reserve officer in 1979. He heard about the reserve officer program during talks with Carl Rogers, who at the time was a sports anchor for KOSA-TV Channel 7. Duesler’s father, George Duesler, was a founding crew member at Channel 7 and he was best known for being the host of “High Noon” for 18 years.
Throughout his high school days, Duesler figured that he would follow in his father’s footsteps as a media professional. Duesler said he knew everything he had to know to be a full-time employee for a TV station.
However, Duesler said after his first ride along experience that he joined the reserves and slowly he started leaning toward a career at the sheriff’s office. He started working full time for the sheriff’s office in 1991. Duesler has served as public information officer for ECSO since 2000.
“It’s been an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” Duesler said. “Never in my life thought I would be going into law enforcement. I thought it was going to be media all the way, because that’s what I grew up in.
“Full circle, I ended up coming back into the media as public relations.”
Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis said Duesler has been integral in the sheriff’s office adding a media room, which is used by Griffis for daily updates that are broadcasted to social media platforms.
“Gary had some media experience before he got into law enforcement,” Griffis said. “It was a good fit for him for the job that he was doing. He always enjoyed doing that kind of stuff. He’s experienced at it. It’s one of them deals that we can fill the position, but we will never replace him.”
Upon retirement, Duesler said he doesn’t have plans to move away from his hometown.
Duesler explained since he was born and raised in Odessa that most of his friends still reside in his area. He said he will be back to the sheriff’s office, but next time as a visitor.
“This is my home,” Duesler said. “All my friends have pretty much still been around here. I have a son who is stationed in Hawaii. Our plans are to visit him as soon as this COVID-19 let’s up. I would like some point to get a house up by the lake, but my roots are still here in Odessa.”
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