Police Chief Ronald D. Meehan announced his retirement Wednesday after serving almost 30 years with the La Habra Police Department.
"I'm just going on to other things," said Meehan, 54. "After close to 30 years, it's time for me to go. I'm looking forward to a new career."
He hasn't quite decided yet what that career will be, he said.
Meehan will officially retire July 13, but he has agreed to remain in the chief's job during the city's search for a replacement, City Manager Lee Risner said. Meehan will also be asked to stay on a few additional months as a consultant on non-police matters.
"I have some things coming up and I think I'd like to use his expertise for a while," Risner said. "It fits his schedule and it certainly fits ours."
Risner has worked with Meehan for about 20 years and appointed him police chief in 1975 when Meehan was a captain.
"I'm losing a longtime, close associate," Risner said.
Meehan, a Placentia resident, joined the La Habra department in 1960 as a patrol officer and once served as the department's vice officer, patrolling local bars.
"We gave him a budget of $10 a month and told him not to spend it all in one place," Risner said.
Of "all the things that have happened during my tenure," Meehan said, "the one that is closest to my heart is the implementation of the (school-based, anti-drug) DARE program. It has the potential for having the greatest impact in the community."
Risner said the city has "made it plain we'll appoint the person most qualified for the job" to replace Meehan, "although the last three chiefs were named from within the department."