Southeast Missouri Hospital director of security retires

Thursday, January 4, 2007

After working for 50 of his 66 years, Butch Boyd says he is going to "enjoy being bored."

Boyd spent the last 10 and a half years as director of security for Southeast Missouri Hospital. Before that he spent 27 years with the Cape Girardeau Police Department, the last eight of those years as chief of police.

When he made the transition from the police department to the hospital security department, Boyd said he made a discovery about himself.

"When I came here I thought I was immortal," he said. "I was shot at, had some broken bones. I thought I would live forever. It didn't take long to realize we're not here for very long. My office was next to the emergency department. I learned a lot."

Hospital security is nothing like a police beat, but it has not been without excitement. Boyd recalls one man he helped police apprehend at the hospital. The man had just been released from an Illinois prison the day before he arrived at Southeast Missouri Hospital in a stolen vehicle. Inside the car, officers found seven purses stolen from women at the hospital.

"I asked him why he had come here, and he said that's the reason why he was in prison," Boyd said. "He said hospitals are primarily female employees and every one of them has a purse. They trust the people they work with and never lock them up. It's just a gold mine.

"I spent the rest of my career trying to get across that women need to lock up their purses."

Hospital employees gave Boyd a retirement reception Saturday.

Boyd began working at his family's business, Pipkin Boyd Meat Packing in Cape Girardeau, on his 16th birthday, and hasn't stopped since.

Now he's going to take it easy and "do whatever my wife tells me to do."

335-6611, extension 160

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