PASCO, Wash. - At an early age, Pasco Police Chief Bob Metzger knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to protect and serve. And he’s been doing that for 44 years now.
Now, he says it’s time to move on. Chief Metzger made the announcement on Monday that he will retire from the Pasco Police Department on April 5, 2019.
“I wanted to get the department at a certain point where the transition could be smooth,” Metzger said.
Before becoming an officer, Metzger said he wanted to be an Episcopal priest. However, he said his direction changed into law enforcement.
His career has spanned across three states. Metzger was a police chief in Michigan for 27 years. He’s been with the Pasco Police Department for seven.
“It’s tough to think that at some point I’m going to walk out of this building for the last time and not see these people again anytime soon so it’s the right time, yet it’s also going to be very much missed by me,” Metzger said.
Metzger has lead several changes at the police department. In a statement from Pasco Police Department’s Facebook page, they described his accomplishments.
“Metzger managed the expansion of the Police Department to keep up with the growth of the community, professionalized the Department through state (and soon national) accreditation, enhanced services through the establishment of a Street Crimes Unit, and played an instrumental role in moving the Police into a brand-new facility in 2017,” the statement said.
Besides his impact on the department, Metzger hopes he made a lasting impression on the men and women.
“My hope is that the kind of values that I’ve instilled in this department continue on and they look back on it and go, OK that value was instilled by this particular police chief,” Metzger said.
While Metzger has a few more months before heading out, he said the day will be bittersweet when he walks out of the department one last time.
“Made a lot of good friends here in town, made a lot of good friends in this department,” Metzger explained. “This department, out of all of them that I've been in and I've been in six of them, is probably the most professional and set the highest standards that I've ever been in and I'm so proud of these people that work here--all of them.”
Not only is the police chief proud of his staff, but the community as well.
“Thank you very much for allowing me in the community for seven years,” Metzger said. “It’s been a great experience. I love this community. I will always have it in my heart and I really hope only the best for the future of this city.”
Metzger and his wife will be going back home to Michigan to be closer to his mother, kids and grandkids.
“My days will be sitting there, looking out over the water, drinking a cup of coffee and thinking life is pretty good,” Metzger described. “It’s been a great run.”
He said he left one quote with his officers when he made the announcement. Old generals never die, they just fade away--a quote similarly said by General Douglas MacArthur during his farewell address.
The Pasco City Manager, Dave Zabell, will start searching for a new police chief. Zabell hopes to name Metzger’s successor by the Chief’s retirement.