After 28 years serving the Upper County, Cle Elum-Roslyn-South Cle Elum Police Chief Scott Ferguson is retiring.

He announced it at a recent Cle Elum City Council meeting, and his own emotions, as well as the emotions of those around him can be summed up in one word — bittersweet.

“Bittersweet is the absolute word that I’ve been using,” Ferguson said. “For the most part it’s really the only job I’ve ever had outside of the military, and it’s a great community and I’ve got great, great officers.”

Of those 28 years, half of those have been as the department’s chief. Ferguson underwent hip surgery four years ago with the understanding he’d eventually have to have another procedure on his other hip.

He tried to put it off as long as he could, but it’s gotten to the point where it has to be addressed.

“Given that medical necessity, it just seemed like it was a good time,” he said.

The city will appoint Sgt. Kirk Bland as interim police chief, before moving forward with a new hiring process.

Ferguson said he couldn’t have asked for a better place to live or a better employer than the city of Cle Elum.

“Very few people are lucky enough to work a career which they enjoy every day of their job, and that’s what I’ve been allowed to do,” he said.

As for what’s next, Ferguson is focused on recovery and rehabilitation after his surgery. He said he is staying in the community and is not opposed to working again, and still has a son in high school.

“I’m not off into a rocking chair yet,” he said with a smile.

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