By Jay Meisel
PORT ST. LUCIE - In many families, the law enforcement tradition begins with young adults following the footsteps of an older family member.
Such was not the case with the Mahan family, where the son began work as a police officer more than a decade before his father become a crime prevention specialist.
Tragically, the son, Donald R. Mahan, a motorcycle officer, died in 1992 when a car hit him after he responded to help a motorist.
But a decade later, the Port St. Lucie Police Department regained the name of Donald Mahan on its employee roster when the fallen officer's father began work as a civilian crime prevention specialist.
Last week, the Port St. Lucie Police Department honored Donald Mahan when he retired after working 10 years.
Police Chief John Bolduc spoke at the ceremony and honored Mr. Mahan for his service. He noted that Mr. Mahan moved to Port St. Lucie from Pennsylvania after working many years for Bell Telephone.
After that, Mr. Mahan worked about 14 years in security at a yacht and country club in Martin County, Chief Bolduc said.
After joining the Port St. Lucie Police Department, Mr. Mahan gained certification in crime prevention, and as part of his work, helped prevent crime by reviewing building plans, Chief Bolduc said.
In reviewing building plans, Mr. Mahan said he looked at doors, locks, exits and entrances and landscaping, among other things.
While he started work in law enforcement later in life, he said, his son's first job was as a police officer.
Mr. Mahan said his son wanted to be either a law enforcement officer or an equipment operator and law enforcement won out.
His son was a police officer in Pennsylvania and then in Lake Park and Riviera Beach before starting work in Port St. Lucie, he said.