BANNOCK COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - An era is ending in Bannock County. Sheriff Lorin Nielsen is retiring at the end of next week. He's been serving the community for as long as many of us can remember.
There was no shortage of hugs, handshakes and even a few tears at the Portneuf Wellness Center Thursday.
Dozens came to honor Sheriff Nielsen for his 41 years of service to Bannock County. Service that he says was with the best people in the business
"We are a family. We hire people that care about people or they wouldn't last with us. And um…I'm going to miss them. I'm going to miss them," Nielsen said.
It hasn't been very many times that Sheriff Nielson was speechless, but there were some Thursday as he remembered his time with a department that started in 1978.
"Darn this has been a good ride," he said. "I couldn't have asked for a better career to stay in the same job with the same office working my way up. I had no intentions of being sheriff until Bill Lynn asked me to be chief.
"Lorin was the most loyal person I think to me and to the profession that I had ever met," Bill Lynn said.
During his career, he has seen everything from escaped lions at liger town to enlisting the help of the community to find evidence against a serial killer.
He is proud of the legacy of cooperation between the departments and cities and communities.
To help us work together as cities and counties and even state and just to have the best people in the world when they say bannock county's finest or pocatello's finest it still exists that way here," Nielsen said.
"It's been a blessing to have him in our community. The interactions we have had with him in our department are a lot because of him and the outreach," Pocatello Police Chief Roger Schei said.
Sheriff Nielsen says he is going to miss the officers and the great relationship they have with the community.
"We may not be perfect, but we take care of the problems when they happen or before they get out and our people really do love the community and maybe I'm naive but I know the community loves us," he said.
Sheriff Nielsen says he's excited to spend time with family, and he has a motorcycle he needs to get re aquatinted with. But don't look for him to ride off too far into the sunset. He is running for Bannock County Commissioner in the upcoming election.
A really fun note about Sheriff Nielsen is that before his illustrious career in law enforcement, he was an engineer for us right here at Channel 8.