Nov 8, 2012 7:53 PM by David Jay
BILLINGS - One of a kind and the perfect person at the perfect time.
That's how Billings Police Chief Rich St. John describes retiring Deputy Chief - Tim O'Connell.
Hundreds came out to honor and say good-bye to O'Connell - who's career with the BPD began in February 1984.
O'Connell served a range of positions from Officer, bike patrol, SWAT team, Drug Task Force member and through the Commander ranks over the last 29 years.
The Deputy Chief's says the police department is like a family.
A lot of friends helped him celebrate.
"It's been very overwhelming," O'Connell said about retirement party. "Very hard to leave. Something you truly love and enjoy doing for 30 years. I've been very fortunate to work for this city and this great department for 29 years."
"His steady hand, his common sense, his ability to build consensus with everybody. Was certainly instrumental in pushing us in the direction we are now," said Police Chief Rich St. John. "So a lot of the success the police department has had over the years. 100 percent attributed to Deputy Chief O'Connell."
O'Connell will use his experience in a new line of work, with the Department of Justice's Gambling Control Division here in Billings.
Captain Joel Slade will assume the Deputy Chief role on Monday.