By Sharna Johnson, Freedom New Mexico
Clovis Police Chief Dan Blair announced his retirement Wednesday after 18 months in the position, according to a press release from the department.
Blair’s last day will be June 30, the release said.
He took over as chief Sept. 29, 2006, after Bill Carey retired.
Blair, a 23-year officer, has been with the Clovis Police Department since July 1985, the release said.
The 43-year-old declined to go into details Wednesday evening. He said he would go into more detail at a later date.
But Blair offered assurances there was nothing negative fueling his decision.
“It’s a personal decision… It has nothing to do with (anything negative), it is a positive thing,” Blair said.
City Manager Joe Thomas said he learned of Blair’s retirement plans around lunchtime Wednesday and said he believes the decision was based on purely personal reasons.
Thomas said part of his understanding is Blair has reached a point under his retirement plan where “he really didn’t have anything further to gain by continuing to work.”
“I support his decision. It was not work related at all,” Thomas said. “I think it was completely personal and I totally support that.”
Thomas said it is premature to discuss the next step in filling the position and with Blair giving more than two months notice it provides time to evaluate and pursue options.
Blair was selected by city officials in an open application process after Carey’s retirement.
Prior to being chosen, he served as Carey’s deputy police chief.
During Blair’s time as chief, he has spearheaded campaigns such as “One with Clovis,” introduced neighborhood impact units to concentrate on problem areas and worked to revive neighborhood watch programs.
He also expressed a desire to bring about the community policing concept in Clovis, where law enforcement and the community work together to curb crime.
Blair has also battled recruiting challenges, which department officials have attributed to national and regional shortages of interested and qualified law enforcement applicants.
At the time he was hired as chief, Blair commanded a force of 56.
Officials have said the department is currently shy a dozen officers.