"I've had two major surgeries in the last 4 months. So it kinda makes you realize, you know life is short and you need to enjoy it and enjoy your family. So I guess that will be my goal right now is to enjoy my family and my grandkids. "
- Evansville Police Chief Zach Gentile
Four days after Casper’s Police Chief Chris Walsh’s last day, another Natrona County chief of police has decided to retire: Evansville Chief Zach Gentile will hang up his badge.
Evansville Chief Zach Gentile says, "I've had two major surgeries in the last 4 months. So it kinda makes you realize, you know life is short and you need to enjoy it and enjoy your family. So I guess that will be my goal right now is to enjoy my family and my grandkids. "
For four decades Chief Gentile has been laying his life on the line to protect the communities he loves. Gentile first started his career as a Miami police officer where he eventually worked his way up the ranks; and after 26 years Chief Gentile decided to move from a city of nearly half a million to a city of nearly three thousand.
"My wife. I woke up one Sunday morning and she was on the computer and she's says you're going to retire tomorrow and I said 'oh ok and what are we doing.' We're moving to Wyoming and you're going to be the chief of police," Gentile said.
During his 15-year tenure as the chief of the Evansville Police Department, he was able to bring many upgrades to the department.
Evansville Mayor Phil Hinds says, "He's basically brought the police department into the 21st century."
One of the highlights of his life, he says, was right here in Wyoming; when he re-opened a nearly 30-year-old homicide case and ended up solving it.
"The highlight for me was absolutely the Humphrey case; (that was a cold case that I reopened.) Worked on it for approximately five years, traveled about 25 to 30 thousand miles interviewing folks. We had a chance of bringing this case back to court and we did and we did get a conviction and Rita Humphrey is in jail," Gentile said.
One thing you can never take away from the chief is the relationships he established along the way. "The people, no question the people, friends, yeah, I'll miss that," Gentile said.
For many Chief Gentile will be remembered simply as a “great police officer.” "A very very effective cop. He's a good man," Hinds said.