ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson is retiring after 42 years in law enforcement and 12 years as sheriff.
A celebration of his career was held on Friday. Robinson retired before his final term officially ended so he could pick his replacement. He said that his disgust with partisan politics means he won't run for anything else.
"I truly believe I have held the best elected office there is to hold," said Robinson.
Robinson is a Republican who demanded fellow Republican Mitt Romney as well as President Barack Obama cough up thousands of dollars to pay for security when they each came to his county for campaign events.
He was a sheriff who is not pro-gun, who endorsed a Democrat in the last Arapahoe County District Attorney's race and who blasted officers who sued to get paid to put on and take off their uniforms.
"I think the community elected me to do a job and to do that job you have to take positions that are not mainstream or not in line with special interest groups," said Robinson.
Robinson has been the face of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department and said that he has always followed his gut and always done what he believed was right. That included arresting the previous sheriff for trading drugs for sex.
"It was a sad day for us but his situation does not define me or this sheriff's office," said Robinson.
Robinson said he will leave with profound sadness for all the innocent people he has seen victimized. People who were trying to do the best with purpose and passion and promise but were victimized and cut down before they could realize that premise," said Robinson.
At the top of that list is Andrew Graham, a young grad student gunned down as he walked home. His killer has not been arrested.
"I'm a better person because I met and associated with Andrew's family but I wish I never met them," said Robinson. "That was an innocent victim and Claire Davis and Andrew Graham represent hundreds of victimizations that make me sad."
Robinson will also be remembered for being on point during the Arapahoe High School Shooting where he again did what his gut told him, refusing to use the gunman's name.
"Individuals responsible for this behavior don't deserve notoriety or celebrity and I'll not be the one to give it to them," said Robinson.
Robinson said his department is in good hands. He called leading it an honor and a blessing and hopes only to be remembered as a good public servant.
To be someone who has kept my word to serve the community to the best of my ability and make a difference for others," said Robinson.
Robinson said in 42 years of law enforcement he never had to fire his gun in the line of duty.
The new Arapahoe County Sheriff is Dave Walcher and was sworn in on Friday.
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