Craig Police Department says goodbye to retiring officer, John Forgay
Craig — This month, the Craig Police Department will say goodbye to one of its longest-serving officers, Investigator John Forgay. After 33 years of service to the department, Forgay is a reluctant retiree.
“I’m going to miss working,” Forgay said. “Really, I’m having a hard time with it… I’m used to being at work at six every morning. It’s like a family there.”
Originally from west Texas, Forgay began his 46-year career in law enforcement following his service in the Marines during the Vietnam war. He joined the Craig Police Department in 1977, taking a six-year break from ’88 to ’94 to do corporate security work in Texas, returning to the force in 1994.
“Anyone with 33 years of experience will be missed because they take with them a wealth of wisdom and knowledge and historical knowledge,” said Chief of Police Walt Vanatta.
Forgay was a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During his years of service, he also became especially passionate about mental health issues, suicide prevention and helping senior citizens who were the victims of fraud.
“It’s heartbreaking to see how may people take advantage of seniors, so now that they’re my peeps, I’m concerned about them,” Forgay said.
He was also a founding member of Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide — an organization providing suicide prevention education and support to Moffat and Routt county residents — and was even instrumental in helping come up with the name.
“If you’ve seen one (suicide), you’ve seen too much,” Forgay said, and elaborated further on the unique challenge of being a police officer. “You have to have a special need in yourself to help people but also be able to see that while you’re trying to help, some people are just constantly causing problems.”
The department will not be hiring a new investigator to take his place due to city budget cuts. Forgay himself is not quite sure yet how he’s going to keep busy, but will continue to serve on the Craig Rural Fire Protection District board and hopes to find other ways to serve. He also hopes to travel, but will be missed by his co-workers.
“We’ll miss his sense of humor,” said Commander Jerry DeLong. “He’s very quick witted.”
“His call to service is admirable for working for the agency for 33 years, committing time to the community and making the community better and safer for everyone,” Vanatta said. “I just hope he has time to kick back and enjoy life.”
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The Yampa Valley has been seeing some much needed rain to start the month of May, which is historically the wettest month of the year for the area.