Blackfoot Police Chief retiring next week after 39 years in law enforcement - East Idaho News

Blackfoot Police Chief retiring next week after 39 years in law enforcement

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BLACKFOOT — After almost 39 years in law enforcement, a local police chief is set to retire next week.

Blackfoot Chief of Police Scott Gay’s last day of work will be Thursday, June 30.

“I will miss the guys I work with. There’s no doubt about it and the staff has been phenomenal. Everyone that works for us just puts 100% in and I just can’t thank them enough. Without them, it would be pretty hard to be chief of anything,” Gay said.

Gay began in law enforcement in September 1983 as a jailer and dispatcher in the city of Blackfoot when he was still in high school, at 18 years old.

“I had a couple of family members that were in law enforcement and one of them told me, ‘Hey, you need to apply for this,'” Gay recalls. “I didn’t graduate high school until May of ’84 and I worked as a dispatcher on night shift and jail.”

Throughout the years, he’s worked as a patrolman, a corporal of patrol, a detective, and even changed departments for a bit to work for Idaho State Police from 2001 to 2002.

He then came back to the Blackfoot Police Department and worked for several more years, then was appointed chief of police in 2019.

He is proud of what he has been able to accomplish with his team.

“Last year, we got a new pay scale that has really helped us out in a lot of ways. That was one of the number one things that I wanted to get done as chief,” Gay explained. “We also put a lot of emphasis on who we hire. Staffing has been pretty tough and we feel like we have not reduced our standards.”

According to Gay, there are 28 officers employed at the police department.

The city council appointed Gordon Croft, who is the current captain of the Blackfoot Police Department, to be the new chief of police. He has been with the department for 22 years.

“I feel very confident in the team that he (Gordon) has to support him,” said Gay.

In a Facebook post from the Blackfoot Police Department, Croft says Gay is passionate about his work and has been a great mentor over the years because of his background and experience.

As a detective, Gay worked on everything from property crimes to narcotics to crimes against children.

“Over the past 18 years, I have worked very closely with Scott and he has led and taught me nearly everything I know about police work,” Croft wrote. “I want to publicly thank Chief Gay for his big heart, his dedication to the police department and the City of Blackfoot, but most of all, his friendship.”

With only a few days left of work, Gay has wondered what life will be like during retirement. It’s a bittersweet moment to leave his job.

“You get up and do the same thing every day for 39 years and you wonder what you get up and do after that. Even though we have a lot of plans, you have to wonder how different it will be,” he said.

He said he is looking forward to spending time with his family and expressed that he is grateful to his wife and two daughters.

“They have ridden this wave with me too. It’s not always the easy way to go. They’ve always been fully supportive and I just can’t say enough about them. They are my heroes,” Gay said.

There will be a celebration of his career at a retirement open house on June 30. It is happening at Blackfoot City Hall from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to the public.