By: Benjamin J. Gohs, Associate Editor
Boyne City Police Chief Randy Howard has retired.
Howard announced the end of his more than 35-year career with the Boyne City Police Department during the Boyne City Commission meeting on Tuesday Nov. 29; Howard’s assistant chief of police Jeffrey Gettel retired several weeks ago.
“Chief Howard has been considering his retirement for a couple of years and decided this is a good time for him to actually do so,” said Boyne City Manager Michael Cain. “It’s hard to believe, but Randy started working for the city in March of 1976 … and he worked himself up from dispatcher to becoming chief of police in February 1991.”
He added, “I can honestly say I’ve never worked with a better chief of police than Randy Howard. He has served this department and this community, in my opinion, very well.”
Cain said Howard’s department is both effective and cost effective.
“He has uncommon common sense and a willingness to try new and different things,” he said.
“How many police departments do you know who run their own drag races? And, that’s just one thing done out of many that I could mention.”
Cain said he will miss Howard’s service to the city, but added that he leaves the police department is in good shape.
Boyne City Mayor Ron Grunch said Howard has performed and achieved “relentless accomplishments” during his time with the Boyne City Police Department.
“On behalf of the citizens of the City of Boyne City we congratulate you on your retirement, thank you for many years of accomplishments and for providing many years of service to our community,” Grunch said.
Howard said he has enjoyed working for his 35-plus years in Boyne City.
“While I look forward to enjoying my retirement I will miss being part of our team,” he said.
Howard said he will be happy to provide assistance with the transition to a new chief of police and assistant chief of police.
“I’ve watched Boyne City progress … since 1976,” he said.
“I call Boyne City a big little city. We’re a stand-alone. We’re unique. We have unique characteristics in this city that no other place that I know of has – it’s a destination.”
Howard mentioned some of Boyne City’s programs and events such as Boyne Thunder and Stroll the Streets, and lauded them for their unique and positive affects on the area.
“Boyne City is all about commitment, partnership, communication, shared decision making and leadership and I hope that with the great staff and leadership … runs smooth in a positive manner for years to come,” he said.
Per Boyne City’s charter, it will Be Cain who makes the decision on who Boyne City’s new chief of police will be. His recommendation must be approved by the city commission.
“We already have the position posted,” Cain said. “And, we are starting to get some resumes in.”
Cain will be accepting resumes, in addition to public comments on the matter, until Monday Jan. 9.
Cain said he will consult with a panel of law enforcement experts and other local officials before making his final decision.
“This person will, hopefully, impact us positively for many years to come and I would love to get input on that,” Cain said.
Currently, Boyne City Police Officer Craig Remsberg is acting as interim chief of police. He is assisted by officer Kevin Spate.
Remsberg has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement.
Cain said the hiring of a long-term assistant chief of police is on hold until the new chief of police is chosen.
Despite multiple attempts to contact Gettel, he could not be reached by press time.