MADISON, Wis. - Madison Police Chief Noble Wray is stepping down after nine years at the helm of the Madison Police Department.
Wray said he had planned to retire at the beginning of 2013 but he wanted to make sure the office-involved shooting situation and internal investigations were in a manageable position before leaving.
"I promised I would continue to get those circumstances in a manageable position before I would leave," said Wray.
Wray said his last days will be sometime at the end of September or beginning of October and the Assistant Police Chief Randy Gaber would become the interim chief.
"I've had the honor and privilege to lead the men and women of this organization," said Wray. "I don't think I could ever, with how much my blood, sweat and tears are in the organization, I don't think it could ever be an easy decision."
Madison City Alder Shiva Bidar-Sielaff told News 3 the chief has "invested decades of his life to the city, so I understand his desire to retire and spend time with his family."
She said she spoke with him personally Tuesday morning about his decision. He was "always somebody who has been extremely committed to the kind of policing that our community wants. I'm happy for him, but I'm sad to see him go," she said.
Wray was named police chief in Oct. 2004 and has been with the Madison Police Department for 28 years.
Wray focused on what he called "trust-based policing" and has served as a nationally recognized consultant for law enforcement organizations. He also served on numerous boards and commissions at the county and state level.
During the news conference, Wray said he was proud of getting Freakfest and the Mifflin Street Block Party at manageable levels, starting community policing teams, adding K9 and Mounty patrol units, implementing a crime prevention gang unit, and investing in the men and women of the organization.
Wray took criticism after last November's shooting of Paul Heenan by Officer Steven Heimsness. Wray filed a complaint to fire Heimsness after uncovering inappropriate messages Heimsness made on department computers, among other allegations. Heimsness later resigned.
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