NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Word that the Chief of the Newport News Police Department Rick Myers is retiring may come as a surprise announcement to some.
News 3 sat down with Chief Myers Tuesday just hours after the announcement was made public.
He said there are several reasons for his decision. He says he has been wearing the badge for 40 years and now it’s time for a break. He has been a police chief in six different cities since 1984.
“I’ve been mulling over retirement for some time,” said Chief Myers.
It’s been discussions with his wife about the future that made Chief Myers come to the conclusion that it’s time for something else.
“I have had conversations about my own sustainability and future longevity and how I need to be thinking about what comes next,” said Chief Myers.
And what’s next is a job with the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association.
He said it is a job where he can work from home and travel extensively.
“I don't think the average person realizes the stress and the burdens that come with being a police chief and I don't say that in a whiny way. I love this job. I've embraced it for many years. It's just it is a 24/7 job,” said Chief Myers, “It wears you down a little bit. I haven't had a good night sleep in years. I'm not a good sleeper except for when I'm on vacation or far away from work.”
He said gun violence and gang activity are topic issues that his city and other cities around Hampton Roads are constantly battling.
Now he’s looking forward to vacation, time with family and his new job opportunity.
“Newport News is a terrific place and we love it here. I’m looking forward to staying engaged with the community but in a different way and I will do everything I can to support this police department but as a retired chief,” said Chief Myers.
The city said they will begin there national search for a replacement.
Chief Myers' last day will be September 1.