One long time behind-the-scenes Savannah public servant has decided to call it quits. After almost four decades masterfully mixing work, play and community service, Joyce Uribe has earned high praise. Therefore, she is now officially a WTOC Hometown Hero.
Joyce Uribe has been keeping things straight around first the Savannah Police Department--now Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department--since 1968.
"Really, I started in high school, as a vocational office trainee," says Joyce.
Since graduating from Jenkins High School, almost all her years with the city have been spent with the police department. She says most days have been great, but there have been those that were particularly worrisome, such as when officers are endangered.
"It's difficult being behind the scenes," Uribe offered, "You're here, not knowing what's going on. It's just like one of your family, you know, you're on pins and needles."
Joyce spent years working with Major James Weaver. Then, when he retired, she assumed similar duties for Major Ralph Bashlor.
Of Major Weaver--and Joyce Uribe--Bashlor says, " He gave me two things that he thought I might need, one was a bottle of antacid, and the other was Joyce Uribe as Administrative Assistant. Well, I never needed the antacid, but I've needed Joyce everyday."
Countless others have needed Joyce as well, such as children served by motorcycle toy runs she helped organize and promote.
Joyce seldom got to ride, since she readily assumed organization duties, but she's not complaining, "You feel warm, knowing you're helping other people ... children," she says.
But Joyce gets a similarly warm feeling about the future for Savannah-Chatham Metro Police:
"I look forward to seeing this department grow into the best police department in the nation and I think we can do that."
We asked if she might take a certain measure of personal pride in that? Her reply: "Oh yes! Very much so! I was there!"