A lot has happened at Colorado State University since Capt. Bob Chaffee joined the campus police department in 1977.
Crisis management for events such as floods and riots has certainly been a part of his experience. And the size of the campus has grown – from about 17,800 students in fall 1977 to about 25,300 in fall 2004. But mostly, Chaffee remembers the teamwork in his department and throughout campus.
He will retire on July 29.
"I’ve been blessed," said Chaffee, 52. "I’d stand my officers up against officers in any agency. It isn’t just about Bob. It’s all about teamwork. I won’t miss the badge. I will miss the family."
The Colorado State Police Department will host a retirement party for him from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28 in the North Ballroom of the Lory Student Center.
Chaffee eventually may return to work in training part-time at the police department, but he’s also planning to spend more time with his family, including wife, Norma, and grown children Heidi, Jeff, and Annie.
Chaffee obtained his associates degrees in liberal arts and criminal justice from Aims Community College in Greeley; his bachelor’s degree, in adult technical education, is from Colorado State.
He is proud of the numerous Colorado State University Outstanding Achievement Awards that he and his department have received – given the size of the force. The Colorado State Police Department employs 15 people in Patrol, 34 total full-time staff.
Chaffee is also proud that campus police work closely with departments on campus as well as the surrounding community. Every officer should be a little "Andy of Mayberry" and a little "Robocop," he said.
He said the tough part for police officers is never knowing how people are going to react when they are contacted.
"Everyone we contact is under the influence – of life," he said.
Chaffee has had plenty of influence at Colorado State.
"He’s been the face and the heart and soul of this department all the time he’s been here," said Sgt. Keith Turney, who has been with the department since 1984. "He’s been just an incredible force on campus. You can’t have a better mentor than someone like Bob."