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Freeway Shootout, Sherin Mathews, Murder Of Officer: Retiring Chief Jim Spivey Looks Back At Career With Richardson PD

RICHARDSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - A remarkable 50-year career in law enforcement will soon come to an end for Richardson Police Chief Jim Spivey.

Spivey announced his retirement this week after spending his long career policing in Dallas and Richardson.

"Back in 1971, if they told me I was signing up for 50 years, I would've probably turned around and walked out," Spivey told CBS 11 News.

He said he had no idea at the time that his decision to join the Dallas Police Department all those years ago as an officer would eventually lead him to the top job in his profession in Richardson. He'll retire in May after spending 12 years as chief.

"I think it's time for some fresh ideas. I think it's time for me to throw my alarm clock away," he said.

A sense of humor and humility made him popular among his officers since he joined the Richardson Police Department 25 years ago.

In 2004, Spivey oversaw the investigation into an unforgettable police shootout with a gang of violent bank robbers along a freeway in Richardson.

"I don't think we'd ever faced such a violent encounter as we did on that day. It changed our tactics, it changed our equipment," he said.

When he became chief in 2009, one of his goals was to improve community involvement with police. Crime watch groups grew from six to 24 with now more than 1,000 volunteers city-wide.

"I think of what I'm proud of here is the level of which we've engaged our community," Spivey said.

Spivey said another accomplishment he's proud of was getting justice after the murder of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews in 2017. Her father was convicted of the crime.

The chief said his lowest point was the death of officer David Sherrard, who was killed by a barricaded man in 2018.

"Such a traumatic event and emotionally draining event for us, changed the department in so many ways," Spivey said.

Spivey also fought for the construction of a new $45 million police headquarters, which opened in 2019.

When asked about what he thinks his reputation is, Spivey said, "I hope it's somebody that cared about the officers and the employees and this police department."

Spivey said he will have no role in selecting his replacement. He said he has three assistant chiefs who are considered likely candidates.

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