Catching more fish than thieves is Terry Shea's new mission.
Retiring as a deputy sheriff from the Collier County Sheriff's Office, he plans to spend more time on the water.
Shea worked as a road deputy on Marco Island from 1982 until about 2003. A Marco resident since 1981, he has been a part-time charter boat captain for 24 years. He's now going to go out full time on the Caroleann III, out of Rose Marco River Marina.
"Give the guys on the dock a little competition, because before, I had to work around my shift," Shea said.
He celebrated his retirement Thursday at Fortunes Steak and Seafood.
"I'm humbled. Most of the people in here are civilians," Shea said. "Most law enforcement parties you come to are cops and here, it's a real crowd of Marco's community."
Ray and Jon Fortune hosted the party in Fortunes bar. The affair was organized by Dan Collardey. Greg Miller performed Motown and there were two buffets. Jimmy Downey cooked 38 pounds of 100-percent-pure roast beef on his rotisserie. There also was a 50/50 raffle and $650 went to Shea and $650 to the winner. Co-worker Susan Boylan bakes cakes for a hobby, so she whipped up a retirement cake with the dates Aug. 1, 1982, to Aug. 31, 2006, on it.
Jon Fortune said they hosted the party because Shea is a good friend they have known for years.
"It's a local bar. It's fitting that he has it here," Fortune said.
Downey met Shea 15 years ago at a party and saw him again a week later when his wife, Marianne, got pulled over for rolling through a stop sign.
"I think he put his time in," Marianne Downey said. "And I'm very happy for him."
Throughout the evening, more than 100 people stopped by to wish Shea well.
"Look at the turnout here," Collardey said. "You can see he's reached out to many, many people."
Collardey is a private investigator and a retired Michigan police officer. He met Shea in 1993, down by his boat. Collardey said the badge didn't make Shea, but Shea enforced what the badge means and what it means to be a police officer. He said law enforcement is demanding on the individuals who dedicate their lives to it and that Shea balanced his family life and his career well.
Shea's son, Sean, said it was nice turnout and thought it was great that his dad was retiring. Sean's wife, Jamie, said they were excited that Terry Shea could spend more time with the family.
Shea's nephew, Chris Freeman, got into law enforcement because he grew up idolizing Shea. Freeman is a captain for the Collier County Sheriff's Office.
"I love the guy. He's an incredible cop. He is to me what law enforcement is." Freeman said. "I owe my entire career to him."