‘It’s been an incredible adventure.’ Police Chief in Shelley set to retire on May 31.
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SHELLEY — A local police chief that has served in law enforcement for 30 years is set to retire next week.
Police Chief Rod Mohler from the Shelley Police Department will work his last day on May 31.
“I have had a wonderful career. I have worked here (at the Shelley Police Department). I’ve worked some time with the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office in Blackfoot. I’ve loved every bit of it,” he said. “It’s been an incredible adventure.”
Mohler said he has always wanted to be a cop. He has relatives with a law enforcement background on both sides of his family and explained that he loves helping people.
He was born in California and raised in Oklahoma City. He met his wife in California and came to the Idaho area around 1990.
Mohler then began his law enforcement career in Shelley in 1992 when he was around 22-years-old. Throughout the years, he’s spent time as a police officer for the city of Shelley and also a deputy for the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office. At one point in time, he was working for both the police department and sheriff’s office at the same time.
“For two years, I actually did both jobs. I worked for the sheriff’s office and then on my days off, I would switch uniforms and cover shifts for Shelley. It was to the point, I was so tired, I would get dressed and the joke was, did I have the right uniform on? They looked close enough to the same, that I had to check the patch to see where I was working that day but it was fun!” he said.
He was also a school resource officer for the Shelley School District, which was his favorite job.
“Absolutely loved it. Best assignment I’ve ever had,” he said.
He became the Chief of Police for the Shelley Police Department in 2012 and has worked in that capacity ever since. There are currently 11 full-time officers and two active reserve officers at the department.
“I will miss doing the job. I will miss a lot of aspects of law enforcement. I won’t miss some of it,” he said. “I won’t miss knowing what people are capable of doing to each other, especially kids. So there’s good and bad with everything.”
Mohler explained his top three accomplishments during his time as chief to EastIdahoNews.com, which included providing better vehicles in the department, newer and safer equipment and more opportunities for higher wages.
He said he switched the department from all cars to utility police vehicles for more room, better traction and clearance in the winter. He got newer and updated equipment for the patrol vehicles and allowed the use of external vests so the officers could be more comfortable and prevent back and hip problems. He additionally helped with monetary compensation.
“I fought for higher wages, shift differential pay and certification pay,” he explained.
After serving as chief for 10 years, he is looking forward to retirement, however, it’s also a surreal moment as he has been cleaning out his work desk.
“It is bittersweet because I have spent so much time here,” he said.
Mohler has been married for 30 years and has two sons, along with two grandkids. When he retires, he plans to be the best grandpa he can be.
“I will spend more time at home, more time with the family, my grandkids, in between fishing and riding as much as I can. I am a huge motorcycle rider. Love, love bikes! Have ever since I was a kid,” he said.
He joked about riding motorcycles too.
“As the chief of police, I can officially say, that my retirement plan is to spend more time behind bars!”
He told EastIdahoNews.com he plans to do what he wants for a while and when the excitement is over, he’ll go and be an adult for a while.
“I’d like to maybe look into some grief counseling, counseling for kids. So working with troubled kids or even first responders, police, fire, EMS, that go through something traumatic because I’ve seen a lot in 30 years. Maybe I can help,” he said.
He explained the Shelley Police Department is in good hands. The new police chief will take over on June 1 and will be Chad Purser, an officer that Mohler had the pleasure of hiring.
“I helped build a really good foundation for the future. Now, this group of guys that are very capable-—they will have a good leader. They can move it into the future to where it belongs. I did mine and now it’s time for them to do even better than I did,” he said.
He is grateful for the opportunities he’s had and all the people he has met.
“I never intended to be the absolute best policeman in the world, the best chief in the world. I just hope I left a mark—that it was a little bit better because of something I did along the way and really that’s all I hope for,” he said. “For the community, I’d like to say thank you.”
Mohler’s retirement open house will be on Tuesday, May 31 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Shelley City Hall. Anyone is welcome to come and celebrate his law enforcement career.