Over 37 years after he started as the Cortez police chief, Roy Lane has announced plans to retire, according to Lt. Andy Brock.
Brock, who was announced as interim chief Tuesday, said a nationwide search for Lane’s replacement will begin soon. Lane plans to retire in February, having informed the city manager of his decision a few days ago.
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Lane’s tenure as chief is the longest in Colorado, a feat he was recognized for in 2016.
Mayor Karen Sheek said Lane invested himself into the community and fostered closer connections at the department.
“Roy had created a family atmosphere that you don’t often find in police forces in other communities,” Sheek said. “That’s important, to feel like you’re working with family.”
Sheek added that a community retirement party for Lane has been scheduled for Dec. 20 at the Cortez Elks Lodge from 5 to 8 p.m.
City Manager John Dougherty did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Brock has worked with Lane for 24 years and said the chief’s longevity has brought stability to the department.
“He’s the only chief that … all of us here at the police department have ever had,” Brock said. “He’s definitely a figure that will be missed.”
Update (4:45 p.m.): This article was updated to include comments from Mayor Karen Sheek.