BOISE, Idaho — After 27 years with the Boise Police Department, four years of those as Chief, Boise Police Chief Bill Bones retired Thursday at an open house farewell ceremony.
In an exclusive interview with 6 On Your Side's Madeline White, Bones shared his ups and downs of a career at the tip of the spear of Boise's law enforcement and imparted nuggets of wisdom he has for the next Chief that will take his place.
"It's time to retire! That's a tough thing to do, but that's--that's the day that's upon me. It's finally caught me," said Bones.
His retirement also caught the hearts of valley leaders Thursday--leaders who gathered to celebrate his nearly three-decade career in the Boise Police Department.
"It's just so well-deserved," said Mayor Dave Bieter, who described Chief Bones as "somebody who has meant the world to the city of Boise."
Reps from ACHD even presented him with his own street, 'Bones Blvd,' and Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan was not about to let him retire without a little roasting.
"I'll spare you with the police-fire jokes--other than I know you've had the second best job in the city of Boise," said Doan.
But as joyous of an occasion as this might be for Bones, getting here didn't come without some hardships... both personally and professionally.
"Having a police officer as a spouse is one of the most difficult professions you could have," said Bones about his wife Jennifer.
"Losing Mark Stall, a brother officer; having Kevin Holtry shot and lying in a hospital bed, wondering if he's going to make it through the night. Seeing a community devastated when you respond and seeing the loss of a three-year-old little girl, and so many other innocent refugees that were stabbed. We look to make each of those moments a little less hard for those that go through that devastation, and prevent the worst moments from happening again in the future," said Bones.
During his career, Bones helped to bring Boise’s overall crime rate to the lowest it's been in 25 years.
"I can take zero claim for the drop in crime, but I can tell you that the men and women that are out there working the streets, that are behind the scenes, that are working on the issues that cause the crime to occur in our community-- they're making a difference," said Bones.
Former Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson will serve as the Interim Chief starting Friday while the city embarks on a nationwide search for a new Police Chief.
To his future replacement, Bones gave this advice: "The citizens and the people that call Boise home--they're our greatest strength. And the more you engage with them and partner with them, the better city and the better police department we'll have."