It’s the speculation that never rests at City Hall.
Somehow, someway, Police Chief Jerry Dyer will remain Fresno’s top cop past his scheduled retirement date of Oct. 16, 2019, insiders say.
That’s the date listed in his contract, and also when Dyer reaches a retirement benefit milestone.
In addition, Dyer announced his retirement in 2011 but never left the job. And these days, big city police chiefs, like other high-profile CEOs, often work well into their sixties.
But the 60-year-old Dyer says, “I would venture to say that (my retirement) will be within the next year.”
(Click on the video above to watch the interview.)
Dyer on Retirement
Here’s a transcript of what Dyer, who has been police chief since Aug. 1, 2001, says about the year ahead.
Question: You’re supposed to retire Oct. 16, 2019. There are some people that say Jerry Dyer will come up with something. He’ll never leave. He’s trying to engineer a consultant gig or something so that he stays chief. Tell us about that date and tell us about plans for the department when you leave. Or should I say if and when you leave?
Dyer: Obviously, the future has weighed heavily on me in terms of when I actually leave this department. This is been my life. I’ve spent two-thirds of my life in the Fresno Police Department. And I’ve spent the last 17 years here as the police chief. And I’m very proud of that time that I’ve spent here. But I will tell you that there has to be an end and I know that. And I know that there’s never a good time to leave. But there is a right time. And I don’t know what that date will be. Much of that is going to depend on who replaces me and how that process works. But I would venture to say that it will be within the next year.
Question: So, there could be a bridge time while the search process goes on?
Dyer: I’ve had discussions with the city manager (Wilma Quan-Schecter) and the mayor (Lee Brand) about what my plans are and what my availability might be to stick around for a period of time during a transition. I have told them that I would make myself available for a limited period of time. I do not want to be that person who appears to not want to let go, although there will be some separation anxiety. I know that. This is my life. … But I think I’m getting closer and closer to accepting that fact. And I know that within the next year someone will be selected. They’ll be my replacement. I will move on and I’ll have a life after Fresno PD.
Question: You’ve set goals for building up your command staff. Are there things that you could share about that?
Dyer: The question has been asked of me over the years: Have I prepared my successor? And the answer that I have given is, I don’t believe it’s my job to prepare the successor. But it is my job to ensure that I have prepared a team of individuals in this organization at the highest level that no matter who is selected as the next police chief they will be successful and they will hit the ground running —whether (the next chief) is an internal or an external selection.
I believe today I have the absolute best team in place at the deputy chief, captain, and lieutenant level, and all the way through the rank of sergeant. At least I hope that to be the case because I promoted all of those individuals throughout this organization over the last 17 years.
And I’m very very proud of where we’re at as an agency. The camaraderie at the staff level has never been better. There is a sweet spirit of cooperation. People are all rowing in the same direction. And I’m optimistic about the future of the organization well beyond me.