HARTFORD, Ala. (WDHN)—At the end of Geneva County’s school year Friday, a long-time law enforcement officer will complete his second law enforcement career.

Geneva County High School resource officer, Greg Ward, will retire for the second time. Previously, Ward served five terms as Geneva County’s sheriff before retiring from that post eight years ago.

It could be December, or it can be the final week of the school year. But, Geneva County High School Resource officer travels the hallways wishing students a Merry Christmas. To the 65-year-old, every day should be looked at as a gift of life.

Ward says “Every time we see each other it’s Merry Christmas. Just the joy of it. Life is full of joy, don’t make it now worse than what it is.”

For five years, Ward has worked for his wife, Hartford Police Chief Annie Ward. After leading the sheriff’s position for two decades, Ward says providing security to the students and faculty has been a tremendous opportunity to reconnect.

“I made a lot of friends here, a lot of friends from the third grade up. I’ve truly been blessed,” said Ward.

This week, Geneva County High School Principal Ashley Sanders and the graduating class of 2023 named Ward as an honorary graduate of the school.

Sanders says “Let them see law enforcement is not against them. There are people here to protect us and ensure we have a safe school, which is one of the things. He has really bridged that gap for the young people of our school.”

Ward adds “You saw a long time I spent looking at cameras, it gets tiresome but it’s that 10 seconds you might miss something. You have to stay alert, you really do.”

Ward says he’s not sure what his next life adventure will be, but he doesn’t rule out the possibility of running for office once again.

In addition to the SRO position at the high school, the city of Hartford and the school district contribute to the salary of an SRO at the elementary school in Hartford.