Current and past APCO International leaders gathered on January 24 to dedicate the Virginia Office in the name of Gregory T. Riddle, Immediate Past President, in honor of a lifetime of distinguished service.
The building in the City of Alexandria, is owned by the Public Safety Foundation of America (PSFA), the philanthropic arm of APCO International, and houses the executive, government, marketing and corporate outreach functions of the association.
Colleagues Terry Hall, Gigi Smith and John Wright voted to bestow this honor on Riddle and with the cooperation of his wife, Shay, kept the matter a secret until the unveiling of a plaque in person.
“There was apparently much going on behind the scenes to lull me to the Greater Washington area under false pretenses,” said Riddle, “but I am not only instantly forgiving of this deception but eternally grateful for this truly unexpected honor.”
In brief remarks at the dedication, APCO International President and PSFA Chairman Terry Hall commended Riddle’s service and explained that he had vetted the idea with the Board of Directors and many past presidents and all felt there was no one more deserving of the honor than Riddle. “It was humbling,” Hall said, “to especially hear so many past presidents across so many years describe in glowing terms how you [Gregg] touched them and contributed to their successes.”
“I am blown away by this,” said Riddle, in reacting to the plaque’s unveiling. “I am nearly speechless with intense feelings of joy – this is such a thrill to be honored in this way.”
Riddle said he cherishes all that APCO International stands for and is grateful for the lasting friendships and all the opportunities he has had to serve his profession. “This one tribute more than any other,” he said, “caps off a 43-year career in public safety.”
Riddle began his career as a paid-on-call firefighter in his home town of Harvey, Illinois. Following graduation from Northern Illinois University, he entered the fire service as a full time firefighter with the Elk Grove Village Fire Department. He became one of the first paramedics for the department in 1972. He progressed up through the ranks and retired after 30 years as the Deputy Fire Chief responsible for Administrative Operations. He was instrumental in building the Elk Grove FD Station 8 and renovating its FD Administration Center. Riddle’s final work assignment was with the West Suburban Consolidated Dispatch Center from 2000 to 2008 as its first executive director.
Riddle joined APCO International in 1981 and earned distinctions of Senior and Life Member. He has served in many posts, led the initiative for wireless 9-1-1 funding in his State, and held a long tenure as the Executive Council Representative for the Illinois Chapter. He chaired the Management Committee of the Council for many years and also chaired the Constitution & Bylaws Committee. He is a graduate of APCO’s Registered Public-Safety Leadership (RPL) certificate program, which he helped develop. Riddle was elected to the Executive Committee of the Board in 2008 and served his presidential year in 2011-12. He is currently the most Immediate Past President of APCO International.
Also present for the ceremony in VA were APCO past presidents Chris Fischer and Dick Mirgon and Riddle’s sons Bradley and Scott, daughter in-law Jennifer and brother-in-law Thomas Kolder.