As many of you are aware, I have decided to retire from the Kentucky State Police at the end of February. The decision was difficult and one that I wrestled with for several weeks. In the end, I recall a wise mentor years ago advising me to always leave while you’re on top of your game and under your own terms. I feel that now is that time.

Our accomplishments over the past eight years have been many: an unprecedented drop in highway fatalities, a new academy, elimination of fleet insurance rider policies, acquisition of evidence collection trucks, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement merger, erecting ‘The Trooper’ memorial statue, adoption of the ‘Trooper R’ program, a new IT and Records building, Safe Schools Program, Intelligence Analysts at each post, establishment of the KSP Foundation, KSP-TV, Data Driven Enforcement Program (DDEP), acquisition of automatic rifles, and an increase in our daily per diem are just a few of the things that come to mind. I am also excited at the prospect of a substantive pay raise for all sworn personnel as the Legislative Session moves forward.

None of these milestones would have been possible without the help and assistance of a lot of people working hard behind the scenes. Each of you are to be commended for your dedication and sacrifice during some of the most tumultuous budgetary times in our history. I greatly appreciate the unprecedented level of teamwork throughout the many budgetary cutbacks and belt tightening exercises we’ve experienced.

It’s hard to believe that I have been involved with the Kentucky State Police for over half of the agency’s life. My tenure as Commissioner has been both rewarding and challenging. It has been a journey filled with hope, despair, triumph and defeat. But through it all, our agency has always persevered because of the caliber of men and women that make up our ranks.

I remember as a little boy the quilts that my grandmother painstakingly made by hand. There were various patterns and designs such as the pinwheel, log cabin and starburst. However, the ones that always intrigued me the most were the ones that she made utilizing mismatched and leftover material. Prior to completion, many of the pieces were rather plain and nondescript showing no rhyme or reason as to their intended purpose. However, the finished product possessed a burst of color and design that always pleased my senses. The beauty and appeal was derived because the totality of the pieces worked together for a product that was impressive, striking and functional.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned in my leadership journey it is that none of us are truly ‘self-made.’ We are a by-product and patch work of interactions and influences that have shaped us along the way, both positively and negatively. I am blessed to have been associated with and influenced by a large number of talented individuals from around the world during my career. However, none have had a greater impact on my life than the men and women of the Kentucky State Police. For that reason I am forever in your debt.

As I close out my final KSP blog post, I look forward to hearing of your successes as each of you help move the agency forward. Please know that it has been an honor and privilege to have been your Commissioner as I continue to support you through words, deeds and prayers.