Paul Raley, Class of 1970
From Homicide Detective to
Owner of a Successful Carpet &
Upolstery Cleaning Business
I have nothing but the fondest memories of my years at Frankford High. So many of my friends then, continue to be my friends today. And some of us are still getting together.
I met my wife (Linda Sharpe) in my senior year at a Frankford dance held at the Masonic Hall on Magee. She was in the class of 1971. We've been married for 47 years. We have a daughter, who works in sthe medical field--a son, who is a chef and one granddaughter, who recently graduated from college.
The teachers who inspired me the most at Frankford were the coaches. I stayed busy my three years going from football to gymnastics to track. Mr. Angelo, Mr, Howley, and Mr. Connely were three of the finest men I ever met. They were great coaches who instilled teamwork and discipline. I was very fortunate to have stayed in contact with them long after graduation. I'm sure in some way they influenced me in joining the Philadelphia Police Department.
A major influence in my life were my fair and even-minded parents. They taught me to be nice to everyone. They instilled in me a belief in law and order, which also inspired me to pursue law enforcement. I received an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from the Community College of Philadelphia and earned credits at Cabrini University, Rosemont College and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
In October of 1972, I entered the Philadelphia Police Academy. I feel I had a career that was better than most. I spent my first three years in uniform working a patrol car in South Philly. In 1976, I transferred to the StakeOut Unit (now referred to as SWAT). In 1982 I was promoted to detective. I was assigned to Central Detectives, then East Detectives, investigating burglaries, robberies, thefts, assaults, etc.
In 1986 I was transferred to the Homicide Division. For the next ten-plus years, I was assigned to investigate murders throughout the city. Everyone was given the same amount of attention. The best part of working in the Homicide Division was solving cases and giving victims' families closure. Back the, we had a 100% closing rate--most of the murders were solved. Unfortunately, that's not the case today.
I retired in 1997, and first worked in corporate security. I went from working 16 hours a day to leaving work at 5. I couldn't make the adjustment, so I left and purchased a condo in Somers Point as an investment. Then, I decided to move down there and start a business.
In order to work in the Ocean City/Somers Point areas, you have be involved in a service industry. Paul Raley Carpet & Upholstery Clealning has been very good to me. My plan was to do it for five years. It will be my 22nd year in September. It gives me an opportunity to meet people from all-walks-of-life.
When I'm not working, I enjoy golf, camping and playing the guitar, which I started as a kid, and was reawakened during mid-life.
My advice to Frankford's students...get involved in the school. Just being around people who create school spirit will make you feel better about yourself.