Police Chief Walt Vanatta shares emotional farewell at retirement party Wednesday
The man tasked with keeping the city safe for the past 19 years was honored Wednesday at a retirement party that was, at times, filled with emotion.
A plaque, holding the badge that newly retired Chief of Police Walt Vanatta had worn as the City of Craig’s top cop, was presented to him by City Manager Mike Foreman.
Former City Manager Jim Ferree and former Mayor Don Jones both spoke about the hard work, dedication and long hours given to the community by Vanatta.
Vanatta briefly addressed the crowd, to say how much he had appreciated his time with the department, and the spirit of cooperation enjoyed by law enforcement over the years. The chief had to pause for a moment during the speech as he was overcome with emotion. He rallied to say that he and wife Cathy were planning to stay in Craig, and he added that he was willing to provide any support needed by the department and Interim Chief Jerry DeLong.
Law enforcement officers, some traveling from across the region, community leaders, city officials and citizens joined the Vanattas in sharing cake, refreshments and stories about his years of service.
The National Junior High Finals Rodeo will be bringing in the top cowboy and cowgirl athletes from June 23 to 29 in Huron, South Dakota.