Richardson police lieutenant has patrolled for 35 years without a paycheck

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There are everyday heroes among us. One of them is Richardson Police Department's Reserve Lt. Rick Hart.

Lt. Hart was among the four people honored recently by the group Richardson Real Heroes. Each year members of the community nominate people who go above and the group picks several to honor as heroes.

He has served the Richardson Police Department for 35 years. And for all those years he's patrolled the streets without ever getting paid.

"You love what you do, so…" he said. "I've always wanted to give back to my community and I've always enjoyed law enforcement and it was a great way to bridge a gap."

He gives up 12 hours each Saturday to essentially perform the duties of a full-time officer on a part-time and unpaid basis. Over the past three decades he's logged more than 25,000 volunteer hours.

He's also the commander of the Police Reserves Unit, has led traffic logistics and law enforcement for the Richardson Christmas parade for the past 25 years and he's the president of his HOA. He even still does some consulting work even though he's now retired from the financial service industry.

"You find time for those things you like to do. And it's something I've very passionate about. I love working with the men and women of the police department. It is an incredible organization. And as I've told others, you find those things that meet your own personal values and this department and this city does," he said.

Lt. Hart said his father always told him to give back more than he got. This is a way for him to do that.

He offered some inspiration to others who are still thinking about volunteering.

"It's just a way to be part of your community. It's a way to bridge the gap. It's the way to be involved. It's a way to have input into the things where you live," he said.