#BalesStrong: Frankfort officer battling ALS retires

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FRANKFORT, Ind. – The community of Frankfort is rallying around an officer diagnosed with a life-altering disease.

We introduced you to officer Robert Bales in March, one month after he learned he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Since then, his fellow officers were able to help him focus on his health by getting him to his retirement date while being away from work.

On Tuesday, the Frankfort Police Department hosted a retirement party for officer Bales.

“This is his last day in uniform, surrounded by the people who love him and work with him,” said Chief Troy Bacon.

Since his diagnosis, the disease has progressed and ended up taking away his speech.

Officer Bales’ health now comes first. To support him, fellow officers pitched in all of their sick or vacation days so he could stay home. His wife Teresa says her family is thankful.

“The officers that donated time to Rob to get him to this date means so much to us,” said Bales.

Officers, fire fighters, city leaders, family and friends joined to celebrate his retirement. The city is even declaring July 30th Robert Cleveland Bales Day. Although his speech may be gone, his spirit continues to shine through.

“Rob’s a special guy,” said Bacon, “He treats everybody the same, with care and compassion.”

Following speeches from friends and family at his retirement party, officer Bales had his final sign off through the police department, an emotional call that thanked Bales for his service and wished him well.

“I think that’s why he has such a big pouring out of support, because people know he’s a good person,” said Teresa.

Chief Bacon says although Bales is retiring, this doesn’t mean their friendship is over. Officers will continue to stop by and see how he is doing.

Officer Robert Bales and his family says they’ll continue to fight until there’s a cure for ALS.

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