After being on paid administrative leave since late August, Robert Thomas, chief of police, and the City of Delta have jointly announced his retirement.
"It has been an honor and privilege to have served the City of Delta," Thomas said in a press release. "I take pride knowing I have influenced positive and productive change within the police organization and community. To our citizens, thank you for your acceptance, kindness and support during my tenure as your police chief. After dedicating 31 years within the law enforcement profession, the time has come for me to retire. Best wishes to the Delta Police Department administrative staff and officers who have sworn to serve and protect you."
Both Thomas and Glen Black, Delta city manager, said the relationship ended "professionally." Black declined to provide any additional details. When asked about the severance package offered Thomas, Black said that is a "personnel" issue. He also issued a press release:
"The City of Delta would like to thank Chief Thomas for his positive contributions to the Delta community, City of Delta, and Delta Police Department. We appreciate Chief Thomas' dedication, organizational accomplishments and commitment to public service."
Black said Charles Kettle will continue to serve as interim police chief until a new city manager has been hired. "We'll let that person make the selection," Black said.
The word "interim" has been dropped from Black's title, to comply with a charter regulation that the interim serve no longer than 180 days. The search for a permanent city manager continues, with an application deadline of Oct. 9.
While retired from the DPD, Thomas is just 52 years old. He said it's unlikely he'll again work in law enforcement, but he does hold three master's degrees and he hopes to put them to work somewhere on the Front Range.
On Dec. 4 Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes denied the application of Paonia Holdings, LLC for a change of land use for the property at 41322 Highway 133, with an adjacent residence at 41402 Highway 133 and an ancillary property at 16180 Stevens Gulch Road.
The property is owned by Bowie Resources, LLC, and was formerly used as a coal load-out site.