Hangin' up the badge: On eve of retirement, Nampa's Police Chief, colleagues reflect on decades of service, outreach, memories
Eric Fink has the story Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Photos of every police chief in the city's history line the walls of the Nampa Police Department.
Monday, the department's current leader hangs up his badge after more than three decades. And, as he prepares to retire from the only profession he's ever known, Chief Leroy Forsman still clearly remembers his first call in the patrol car.
"Halloween night 1981," Forsman recalled. "My first real call was a man holding himself hostage with a deer rifle and I was absolutely hooked."
Seen as a leader in the community in any capacity, Forsman's colleagues say their friend's dedication to his work and his fellow citizens is on display in the office and beyond.
"He's known throughout the state and probably even further for his training, his demeanor and his leadership," fellow officer Cpl. Shane Houston said.
It's not uncommon for me to travel to training throughout Idaho and outside Idaho and people ask me, 'How's Leroy doing? Do you know Leroy?'," colleague Cpl. Jason Cantrell said.
Forsman got married five months after becoming an officer. "My wife is my hero," the Chief said. "She is the one that's gotten me through all these years and I certainly have a box full of IOUs at home that need to be fulfilled."
Cpl. Cantrell says his boss set the example of how best to balance work and family in a dangerous, consuming career.
"This job can be overwhelming," Cantrell said. "There's always bad guys in law enforcement and at times it seems like you can never go home. He's taught me you go home at the end of your shift. You take care of the citizens of Nampa, the Treasure Valley and Idaho and then you go home to your family."
As he prepares to hang up his uniform, Chief Forsman admits it's hard to put 31 years of service in perspective. The memories and friendships will last a long while after he leaves his desk Monday for the final time. So too, the title of mentor and his footprint throughout the city.
"I couldn't have asked for a better career," Leroy said. "It's been a fantastic ride, it really has."