St. Matthews Chief retires after 60+ years of service

What do you plan to be doing at 86-years-old? That's the question a local police chief must now ask himself as he heads to retirement after more than 60 years in law enforcement.

ST. MATTHEWS, Ky. (WHAS11) -- What do you plan to be doing at 86 years old?  That's the question a local police chief must now ask himself as he heads to retirement after more than 60 years in law enforcement.

The St. Matthews Police Chief took the oath to protect and serve back in 1955, and today a final salute to the officers he's known for years.

He has served as a bodyguard for President's Johnson, Reagan, and Bush but says his favorite assignment was working with Mother Teresa.

WHAS11 was able to sit down with St. Matthews Police Chief Norm Mayer one last time as the 86-year-old reflected on 60 years of service.

Outside the St. Matthews Police Department officers are lined up to salute Chief Norm Mayer one final time.

"We're all going to miss him around here, and I know he's going to miss us,” said dispatcher Suzi Horvath.  “He loves this place.  He loves his people, and he cares about his people."

"I love it,” said Chief Norm Mayer.  “I hate to quit.  I love it.  You can ask any police officer it gets in your blood and it's hard to get rid of it."

62 years ago Norm Mayer was fresh out of the Navy when he saw an ad in the paper for a job that paid $259 per month.

"I found a job in the sheriff's office back when the sheriffs didn't do anything but serve papers and that was it,” said Mayer.  “I kind of got the bite in, and I was at city hall delivering papers, and I got to talking to a couple of sergeants over there.  They said why don’t you join the police department."

Over the years he witnessed first-hand how policing changed.

"One of the worst things that ever happened was one man cars,” said Mayer.  “When we had two man cars you were able to control it.  You didn't have to wait to do it."

But one thing kept him coming into work day after day.

"The people I work with,” said Mayer.  “It's just a pleasure to come in every day.  It really is."

As for what's next for this old veteran?

"I don't know,” said Mayer.  “I really don't.  I'm not a traveling person.  I don't care about that much.  The only thing I like is policing."

But at age 86, he says it's time to hand in his badge.

"I went up to the pension board to get my pension,” said Mayer.  “One of the ladies there was kind of having problems.  She said you know you're the oldest person we've ever had come up here for a pension.  They were having trouble finding everything."

However, after 60+ years on the force, he has no plans to ride off into the sunset of retirement.

"We've got a gym here and I work out 2-3 days a week,” said Mayer.  “I'll probably still come in and work out."

At this time it's unclear who will replace Chief Mayer.

The City of St. Matthews has had numerous applicants for the position and interviews could begin as early as Monday.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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