Oct 4, 2011 12:27 AM by John Romero
After nearly 5 years on the force, Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers will retire next month.
The news came as a surprise to most. "We are both saddened and shocked at the announcement today that our Chief, Richard Myers, will be leaving." said Colorado Springs Police Protective Association President Pete Tomitsch at a press conference Monday afternoon. "Frankly I'm going to be a little bit sad and disappointed that he's not over there running the ship." said Colorado Springs City Councilman Tim Leigh.
The retirement comes during a troubled year for the department in which the arrests of two officers have made headlines, including Officer Joshua Carrier who is facing well over 100 charges in a child porn and child sex abuse scandal.
Just recently Myer's department has come under fire from the mayor's office amid an investigation in to improper conduct by the metro vice narcotics unit. We spoke to Mayor Steve Bach. He says he didn't force Myers out, but made it clear he wants new leadership. "I would just say that now we have a mayor who is hands on, full time. That's me. For better or for worse that's what we have." he said, "I'm a so-called strong mayor, so I'm here. I'm full time and I'm asking lots of questions and I'm making lots of suggestions and that's just a whole different world."
Sworn in to the force back in January 2007, Myers was eager to get to work. "I'm both excited and humbled by this privilege to serve in this outstanding department." he said during his swearing in.
But the mood soon changed for the Chief as he was forced to cut about $5,000,000 from his budget over the years, with an additional million in cuts coming next year. City Councilman Tim Leigh says that weighed heavily on Myers. "In private conversation with me over the past couple of years, he indicated that he was somewhat disappointed that he would come to a city and essentially oversee downsizing the police department." he said, "I think that was troubling to him.
Myers declined our requests for an on-camera interview but did offer a statement that read in part, "I told him (Mayor Bach) I was here to serve, and would do so loyally and do my best to lead the department in the direction he wanted to take the City, until such time that he felt he needed to bring in his own chief. Recently, he informed me he is ready to make a change in direction, and he is continuing to methodically create his own management team. Consequently, I have agreed to make room for this to happen by retiring from the CSPD."