With the snap of a single salute to a gathering of his fellow officers assembled at the foot of a giant American flag, Police Chief Ty Cochran ended his 33 year law enforcement career Tuesday.
“I’m going to miss you,” the chief said during a special “walk out” ceremony, a traditional police salute given when the department’s top officer hands steps down, held outside town police headquarters in Peconic. “It’s been great. I’ve had a lot of fun and I’m living my dream.”
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First hired in 1980, Mr. Cochran worked his way up through the ranks to become chief in 2000. On his last day he again gave voice to his oft-stated assertion that, “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a police officer.”
He followed his father, also named Carlisle but known as Pep, who retired in 1990. His mother is former supervisor Jean Cochran.
His father was present for an earlier farewell, a “return to barracks” ceremony for the chief outside Town Hall on the Fourth of July organized by Greenport’s resident bagpipe aficianado Roy Morrow.
During Tuesday’s ceremony Town Supervisor Scott Russell said that when it came to police matters, “I never made a decision without first checking with Ty. He never let me down.”
County Legislator Ed Romaine presented the chief with a proclamation declaring Tuesday Chief Cochran day in Suffolk.
Before saying individual farewells to a phalanx of officers and other chiefs of police, the chief held up a key to the headquarters. Before handing it Martin Flatley, the former captain and as of Wednesday the department’s new boss, Mr. Cochran said, “He’re the key to the dungeon, baby. It’s all yours.”
He then took one last ride in his town car to a reception at the Southold American Legion building.
Photos by Tim Kelly and Katharine Schroeder