SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (KMTR) – Chief Jerry Smith says it's time to move on now that the department is in good shape.
Springfield’s top cop is hanging up his badge after 43 years of service. On Tuesday, Chief Jerry Smith announced his retirement. The 64-year-old was hired as a recruit in 1970, started as in officer in Springfield in 1973 before being promoted to sergeant two years later. He then became captain in 1989 before being promoted to chief ten years later.
Under his leadership, the department's built a municipal jail and seen a big drop in city-wide crime. Chief Smith believes there's no better community to work for. He says, “Whether it's the employees, because we have great staff in the police department or city leadership, the community has been great and I’m amazed all the time."
The chief’s last day will be March 29 and then he’ll use up some vacation time before officially retiring on May 1. That’s when the department will start looking for his replacement.
Chief Smith says he hopes to get back into coaching baseball. He also will continue working in law enforcement in some aspect, but wouldn’t say exactly what during his announcement.