Chef Joe Shelley shifts the gear | Latest news
SHOW LOW – Police Chief Joe Shelley is on his way to the lake and whatever retirees are doing these days.
Shelley leaves law enforcement and enters civilian life with his wife, Kara. After nearly seven and a half years as the respected leader of the Show Low Police Department, May 14th will be the day he will finally give up his badge.
The year he began his law enforcement career, the National Institute of Justice published an article stating that officials’ careers lasted an average of 26.4 years. Shelley topped this 1987 statistic. His career has lasted an impressive 34 years.
Shelley started out with the Mesa, Arizona Police Department and worked his way up to Commander of Criminal Investigations. Then the City of Show Low managed to keep him away from the hustle and bustle of the subway beat. It was a big adjustment for the city dweller, but he quickly learned to slow down and was taught what the locals affectionately call “Mountain Time”.
“I went to the local barber shop during my two week visit while I was thinking about this job and quickly found that the people (on Show Low) were very headstrong and lived at a completely different pace than me, which was great! “Said Shelly.
Not only did Shelley adapt to the slower pace of life, but he also had to adapt to the realities of the fire season in the White Mountains.
“I was amazed at how integrated all the agencies are: Fire, Cities (Navajo County Sheriff), and Show Low. They all work together like a team. It has to protect everyone if a fire breaks out, ”Shelley said.
“April 1st through July is fire season and two of the biggest fires in Arizona happened right here. We need to be up and running right away, ”Shelly said.
“I’ve had some good times and some difficult times in this career … real life is not like it is in the movie,” Shelley said.
Boss Shelley hates the grief bullies cause, so he decided to apply and graduate from the academy. “I know it’s a cliché, but it’s a baseline – (officers) like to help people and they don’t like bullies,” Shelley said.
When asked what he was most proud of, Shelley mentioned his wife Kara and stepdaughter Cecelia, as well as his siblings and many nieces and nephews. Joe Shelley loves family, faith, and community. The only case that still comes to mind was a young tyrant in Mesa. He is grateful for influencing him to change his environment and graduated with a better attitude.
“I want others to know that I am very proud of this department and all that we have achieved. The Show Low community is amazing and I’m happy to be a part of it, ”said Shelley.
Boss Joe Shelley isn’t exactly sure what exactly is next for him, but he knows that there will be more time with Kara and Cecelia, a little soccer coach, a lot of running from Philos, his yellow Labrador Retriever, some camping, time with the family and tons of home remodeling and maybe a skydive or two. Time to enjoy life in different clothes.