Lansing Police Chief Talks About Her Retirement

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LANSING (WILX)--After nearly three decades in law enforcement, Lansing's Chief of Police is retiring.

Teresa Szymanski joined the department in 1987 after a three year stint at the Douglas, Wyoming Police Department. She went from officer, to sergeant, to lieutenant, to captain, and was appointed as interim chief of police in 2010 after Mark Alley's retirement. She was sworn in as chief less than a year later.

"It's humbling, An honor I will always remember and never forget," said Szymanski.

Sitting down in the mayor's office Szymanski switched her uniform for a suit, feeling comfortable with her decision to retire.

"It's just time. There's life after police work and I'm looking forward to some new opportunities," said Szymanski.

She and the mayor have been talking about her retirement for a while, keeping it a secret until now.

"The chief had let me know months ago that she was thinking about it, and about one month ago that it was imminent," said Mayor Virg Bernero.

As Lansing's first female chief, Bernero says he couldn't have asked for a better match for the city.

"It's tough. It's always tough when a key member of the team decides to retire. I don't try to hold anybody back. I am grateful for the service, and I am grateful for what she has provided over many years, and in particular the last 3 years," said Bernero.

Szymanski hopes to stay working in the city, but doesn't want to work for the police department anymore.

"I can see myself doing a lot more volunteer work. Another 5-10 years, and retire on the beach somewhere," said Szymanski with a smile.

She leaves with a little advice for the next chief.

"Be bold, have fun, and enjoy your job. It's the greatest job, the greatest opportunity, and be proud," said Szymanski.

Chief Szymanski's last day is April 20th.

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