Posted: Feb 15, 2011 1:40 PM by David Ortiviz
Updated: Feb 16, 2011 10:06 AM
No more urgent police calls in the middle of the night. No more double shifts, helping detectives work on a big case. Tonight Jim Billings will enjoy his first night of retirement, after a law enforcement career that has spanned for more than three decades.
"I doesn't seem real to me, when I got up this morning and put on the uniform and drove to work it was like any other day and I think the reality that I'm going to be retired is going to hit me in the next day or two," said Billings.
Billings is retiring as chief of the Pueblo Police Department, a position he's held for the past 12 years. He first joined the department as an officer 36 years ago, following in the footsteps of his grandfather.
"My grandfather was a Pueblo police officer. He worked from 1926 to 1947. His career came to end when he was shot in the back in the Bessemer area. He survived it," said Billings. "My dad was an assistant fire chief, so was my uncle, so Pueblo and public service are in my blood," he added.
Family is what's most important to Billings. Now that he's retired, he plans to spend a lot more time with his wife, parents, children and grandchildren. "First and foremost spend time with my wife, I think she's put up some long days and long nights and calls during the middle of the night. She deserves to have me around a little bit more, she may get tired of me after a little while but I intended to enjoy my family," said Billings.
Looking back on his long career with the department, Billings says he has no regrets. "There are things I could have done better, but overall I've been blessed with this career. My wife has been beside me ever step of the way and it's been a great life," said Billings.