Blackfoot police chief retires after 28-year career in law enforcement
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BLACKFOOT – After a 28-year career with the Blackfoot Police Department, police chief Kurt Asmus is retiring.
“Everybody wants to leave it better than they found it. I’ll never know if that happened. I guess we’ll know down the road,” Asmus said to the crowd attending his retirement celebration at City Hall Tuesday afternoon.
Asmus grew up in Canada. He got his start with the department in 1991 as a patrol officer. He worked his way through the ranks, becoming a detective after five years. He served as captain of the force for 10 years, until he became the chief in 2013.
During his remarks, Asmus recalled a time early in his career when he was working graveyards. One day he was patrolling around all by himself and had an epiphany.
“I’m not from here. I’m not even from this country,” Asmus said, tearing up. “But the city of Blackfoot trusted me to keep it safe, and (taking) responsibility for some little freckle-faced, redhead kid (himself), was pretty overwhelming. It’s pretty cool.”
Asmus praised the other 26 officers with the department and said they are the reason the department is successful.
“The legacy (of my time as chief) is the officers still working. I think we’ve got a good crew,” Asmus said.
Asmus says he hopes the young officers with the department appreciate the responsibility they’ve been entrusted with to keep the city safe.
Scott Gay was named as the new chief in April when Asmus announced he would retire. Asmus says he has worked alongside Gay his entire career and got emotional when talking about his friend.
“I’ve asked Scott to do things, personally, that you should never have to ask anybody to do,” Asmus said. “Thank you.”
Gay, who is currently serving as captain, says he will miss Asmus’ leadership and compassion.
“This is probably one of the hardest days of my life,” Gay said. “Kurt has been phenomenal for our department and I hope to continue that on,” Gay said.
Asmus continued his remarks with a shout out to everyone he’s worked with over the years, including the fire department, Parks and Rec., and the water department.
“I wish everybody could see what makes this city run. It really does boil down to about 100 people. If citizens really knew that’s what made it go ’round, they’d be shocked at the amount of work that really happens in the city,” Asmus said.
Going forward, Asmus is looking forward to enjoying the outdoors and spending time with his family.
“It’s been a good ride. I know you’re in good hands,” Asmus said.
Gay will be sworn-in as the new police chief Wednesday morning, but his wife and daughter pinned the badge on him during Tuesday’s celebration.
Mayor Marc Carroll also spoke at the celebration, along with representatives with the Idaho Police Chiefs Association and Idaho State Police. Former Mayor Paul Loomis and Jeff Gardner, Chief Deputy with the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office, were there as well.