On Nov. 1, 1976, a 20-year-old Bruce Green became an officer in the Hoisington Police Department.
On Nov. 1, 2021, the now Barton County Undersheriff Bruce Green submitted his retirement letter to his boss, Sheriff Brian Bellendir.
“I am very honored and proud to be a Barton County sheriff’s officer,” he said, addressing the County Commission Tuesday morning. Commissioners recognized him for his 42 years of service to the department.
“It is my honor and privilege to announce the retirement of Undersheriff Bruce Green,” Bellendir said of his longtime friend and law enforcement partner. “In 1982, I was a reserve officer and Bruce was already there. He helped shape me into the cop I became.”
Green will retire from the Barton County Sheriff’s Office effective Friday. Green has served at the Barton County Sheriff’s Office since 1979, Bellendir said.
Hired by Sheriff Gene Marks, Green has successfully served under five sheriffs, including Marks, Jim Daily, Buck Causey, Greg Armstrong and Bellendir.
“He’s been a fixture at the Sheriff’s Office,” Bellendir said. Now, “the void and the knowledge lost will be hard to fill.”
Over the decades, Green has served as Bellendir’s supervisor. Finally, “in 2012, I got one rank ahead of him” when Bellendir named him as undersheriff.
“He has seen over 40 years of what we see as cops,” Bellendir said. “Neither one of us ever thought we’d make it this long.”
Green started his law enforcement career in Barton County in 1976 when Hoisington Police Chief Glenn Brack hired him as a police officer. He also attended the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in 1976.
Recalling the changes he’s seen over the years, Green said the office is in fine hands and is in its best shape ever. He has confidence in the veteran officers as well as the new ones coming on board.
In 1978, Green was promoted to the rank of captain with the Hoisington Police Department and was employed as captain until December 1979 when he went to work for the BCSO.
In the next continuous years to present, he has held the positions within the BCSO as deputy, K-9 officer, sergeant, lieutenant, jail administrator, captain and now undersheriff.
Green comes from a law enforcement back ground with his father, Berton Green, being in law enforcement for over 20 years and had been chief of police in St. John and Kinsley. His brother, Ed Green, was a Great Bend Police Officer and a Barton County Sheriff’s officer for a combined 28 years before his passing away.
Green’s uncle, Joseph D. Green, was appointed Barton County Sheriff in 1950 to serve as sheriff after sheriff-elect Alfred Jacka was killed in the line of duty.
His son Josh is a police officer in Ellsworth.
Green is also proud that he obtained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1970. Growing up in St. John and Kinsley, he graduated from Barton Community College with a degree in criminal justice in 1976.
He a member of the Great Bend American Legion Post 180 and is an American Legion Rider and a Patriot Guard member.
He and his wife Rhonda reside in Great Bend. Green said she has tolerated years of crazy evening and weekend shifts and late-night phone calls.
“Barton County is a fine place to live and to work,” Green said. Now, Green said, they are looking forward to making up for that lost time.