After nearly three decades in law enforcement, most with the Greenfield Police Department, chief Tim Hester left behind the daily grind of the office on Friday.
Hester has been chief of the Greenfield Police Department for 11 years. He first came to the department in 1989, he said.
He started his law enforcement career in Bainbridge as a dispatcher before going to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office for a short time, he said.
“It’s been great,” he said this week.
The thing he is most proud of is how the department has progressed through the years.
“There have always been challenges along the way,” Hester said, adding that he has had the opportunity to learn “from a lot of great people.”
The main part of the position, he said, is to help people, and while he said it is not always possible to help as much as you want to, that helping has brought “a lot of satisfaction. You can’t say that about a lot of jobs.”
Hester said the one thing that stands out is how the police department has evolved over the years in professionalism and through training and “how capable” the officers are today. “They can handle anything,” Hester said, “any situation.”
When asked if he would miss the daily law enforcement life, he said, “I don’t know.”
He said he would miss the people, and not just the people that he works with on a daily basis, but talking to people, too. But, he said he won’t miss the stress and the daily responsibility.
Hester said that even though he won’t be coming into the office every day after Dec. 18, he will still be doing some things and helping out wherever he is needed through March. He said he will be using up some leave time that he hasn’t taken through the years and that he still has “a few things to wrap up” in the new year.
With Hester not officially retired until March and a new chief yet to be appointed, for the time being Sgt. Jeremiah Oyer will be the officer in charge of the department, Hester said.
Earlier this week, the city held a retirement party for Hester that was attended by several law enforcement professionals, judges, attorneys, and current and former city leaders, Greenfield City Manager Ron Coffey said.
During the party Hester was presented with a plaque from Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera, a clock from Greenfield employees, and a proclamation from the Highland County Board of Commissioners, bestowed by commissioner Tom Horst, Coffey said.
“He’s done a fine job,” Coffey said, adding that Hester has “always had the best interests of the community in mind.”
Coffey said this week that it’s hard to see someone like Hester go, but, “We wish him well.”
Hester said he is looking forward to being a private citizen and “enjoying a private life,” which he said would include “a lot of fishing.” But besides that, he doesn’t have any particular plans other than to “take a break and see what happens.”
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.