Having become exemplary of the bond that is possible between a community and its law enforcement, a public information officer who has served 34 years in Lafayette with the Indiana State Police is retiring.
Sergeant Kim Riley officially retires on Nov. 16, a full 34 years to the day since he graduated from the 44th Indiana State Police Recruit Academy in 1986, the state police department said in a statement. However, the officer hung up his hat for the last time on Sept. 18.
The sergeant was often affectionately addressed by his colleagues as grandpa, who commended him for being a “familiar face” to many among the communities he has served in.
Riley is looking forward to spending his retirement seeing more of the United States, and more of his family.
“I’ve had a lot of good times here,” Riley told WLFI. “This place has been a great place to work. I’ve been a police officer for 37 years. Part-time for three and 34 here, and I would not trade it.”
“A lot of them call me grandpa or ‘gramps’ because I’m kind of the older guy here,” the sergeant said.
District Commander Lt. Tom McKee, who is taking on Riley’s post as Public Information Officer in November, said that with age comes wisdom.
“Having a trooper with that experience is invaluable, and having them as your PIO is something that you really can’t measure,” McKee said.
Thirty-four years ago, at the onset of his career, Riley was appointed to Lafayette after graduating from the Academy. He served nine years on patrol in Carroll and White Counties, during which time he became a member of the Tactical Intervention Platoon and was a Field Training Officer; he also served as a RADAR, VASCAR, and First Aid Instructor, the statement noted.
The sergeant was assigned to the Problem Oriented Policing Section (POPS) in 1996, where he served until 2003. Riley honed his skills in community engagement during this time and had a hand in improving road safety for the residents and commuters of Vermillion County when he helped redesign the dangerous intersection at State Road 63 and Interstate 74, according to the statement.
At this point in his career, Riley chose to explore a different path and joined the Gaming Division. He worked the Blue Chip Casino for two years before being promoted to the rank of sergeant. Riley served as the Public Information Officer for the Lafayette District from 2005 until his retirement.
Indiana State Police posted about Riley’s retirement on Facebook, where members of the community left supportive messages for their officer in recognition of his last day on the job.
“We appreciate your sacrifices and dedication!” wrote one social media user, beside three emojis of the American flag.
“Thanks for the great service, Kim,” wrote another. “They don’t make many like you anymore. Best of luck with your retirement.”
“Thank you so much for your dedication & for keeping the bad guys at bay,” added one supporter. “I hope that you enjoy your much earned retirement. Good luck & God bless.”
Trooper Corey Brown praised his colleague for serving “with honor and dignity throughout his entire career.”
“On behalf of the entire Indiana State Police family and the Lafayette District, we wish Sgt. Riley a happy and healthy retirement, and a sincere thank you and congratulations,” Brown said in the statement.
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