Rio Rancho Police Chief Robert Boone is retiring Nov. 30.
“I just think the timing is right, and I feel I’m leaving the top department in the country,” Boone said.
He said he has nothing but respect for the personnel at Rio Rancho Police Department and was confident the talent was either in place or rapidly developing to keep the department successful.
Boone said he and his wife would join their family in Florida. He’s served as Rio Rancho police chief since 2004, and worked in North Carolina, Florida and Illinois before.
A news release from the Rio Rancho Police and Communications Association Inc. said the union looked forward to working with city leaders to seek a new police chief.
“With the announcement of Chief Boone’s retirement, we would like to thank him for a job well done,” the statement said. “The chief has represented our department with dignity, dedication, pride and service. He has always expressed his willingness to work together to ensure that the RRPD is the best agency in the state.”
Rio Rancho Police have been able to keep the city’s crime rate low because of community support, Boone said.
“They’ve always backed the department, offering us support, working with us, calling in those matters which they feel may not be consistent with their neighborhood,” he continued.
Boone said RRPD’s success is based on the hard work and commitment of all personnel: sworn officers; animal control, codes enforcement and communications personnel; support staff and volunteers.
“Truly, the greatest privilege of my over-41-year law enforcement career is to have been afforded the opportunity to lead our exceptional police agency whose commitment to provide extraordinarily high-quality services to our residents and guests has never waned, even during the difficult economic times,” he said.
Boone added that he was humbled by the support of department employees.
“The examples of your bravery and sacrifice will continue to be my inspiration, and I will always cherish my tenure and the friendships that I have made with the outstanding men and women of the Rio Rancho Police Department,” he wrote in a memo to personnel.
In an interview, Boone said the highlight of his tenure in Rio Rancho has been the transition of the police department from a traditional agency into one that was part of and worked with the community.
With a little more than two months left on the job, Boone plans to fill the open deputy chief position, at least on an interim basis, by the time he leaves. He also intends to help establish a recruitment profile for his successor.
“Other than that, I think it’s just tying the loose ends and trying to get through all the lunches I’ve been asked to,” he said.
Boone said the timing was good for the new city manager and incoming new mayor to find a police chief to be in office consistently throughout their terms.
“My children and my primary residence are in south Florida, and it’s time for my wife and I to consolidate into one home and hopefully enjoy retirement,” he added.