After 40 years, a metro Detroit police chief is putting his badge away.
Police Chief Gary Mayer will be retiring this Thursday from the Troy Police Department.
He’s been with Troy nearly the entire time, which is not always seen these days. The chief spoke to us about his time and what he’ll miss most.
After 40 years of policing, you’ve done nearly everything. Just ask Mayer.
It all started in 1978. He wanted to be an EMT, but a neighbor who was a Detroit police officer changed his mind.
“I realized I could do a lot of interesting jobs if I became a police officer,” Mayer says.
After working with the Grosse Pointe Farms Police Department for a year, he moved to Troy.
“You could work subdivision patrol and deal with kids and youth issues and things like that all the way down to the south end of town where you’re dealing with crimes and retail fraud,” he says. “We started in auto theft unit because we have upwards of 700 auto thefts a year in Troy. I had the opportunity to do sting operations tour. We had chop shops open up businesses and acted like we were chop shop operators and purchase stolen vehicles.”
While he never thought he’d become a chief, it happened in 2009.
“I liked the direction the police department was going into community policing,” he says. “We start policing with the community, not policing the community.”
That same year he says was hard on the department.
“it was terrible for the community. A lot of people were losing their jobs. The whole community was suffering; the whole metro Detroit area was suffering back then,” he says.
Things eventually got better, and Chief Mayer says he’ll always have great memories.
“We make sure we take care of our own. I’m going to miss that. I’m going to miss the day-to-day coming in and seeing the people that I work with,” he says.
“I have a very massive honey-do list from my wife Linda,” he says. "Linda and I have been married for about 41 years, and we got some travel plans, some things we’re going to do.”
“I enjoy the simple things like picking the grandkids up from school. doing that kind of stuff,” the Chief adds.
Chief Mayer says he wants the people of Troy to know they’re in good hands.
“Going to continue the community outreach that we do. It’s a very good community with a lot of really good people who want to do a good job, so everything should be fine,” he says.
Troy Police Captain Frank Nastasi will be the new chief. He starts Thursday.