RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – After 40 years on the job, the University of Richmond's top cop is hanging up his badge.
Chief Robert Dillard is retiring June 30. When he started, the university didn't even have a department, just several security guards and one shared patrol car.
"It was a '57 Chevy, hand painted dark green and painted with a brush," he said.
The chief built the department from scratch. Under his leadership, in 1990 the department became the first private university in the nation to become nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
Dillard said the department has come a long way. The police department now have 42 employees, 19 of which are sworn officers.
When you have worked somewhere 40 years, it's not easy to say goodbye. Chief Dillard said it's been a long and successful career, one that he will never forget.
"It's tough to walk away and it's probably going to be very hard not to call in here the next day and see how things are running," he said.
Captain Howard Norton has worked with the chief for 27 years. He and others that have worked with Dillard for decades say it will be difficult to replace him.
"The University of Richmond and the University of Richmond Police Department and campus police departments in the state of Virginia and probably throughout the world are going to miss Chief Dillard," he said.
Chancellor E. Bruce Heilman has worked with the chief 39 years. "I can assure you there will be committees and committees, scrutiny and we will be looking for one of the best anywhere, which is evident that we have one of best anywhere," he said.
After 40 years of work, chief Dillard says the next 40 will mostly consist of golf. "I have a place in Myrtle Beach, I plan to spend some time there and we have some acreage in Hanover County, my wife has a long list of things for me to do," he said.
No replacement has been named. The university plans to conduct a national search to replace Chief Dillard.