After nearly 24 years of service, Smyrna Police Chief Wil Bordley has decided to retire from the Smyrna Police Department to pursue a new chapter in his life as a college instructor at Delaware Technical & Community College.

Bordley's last day will be Monday, Jan. 6.

"I always said that at the end of my career as chief that I would teach on the college level," Bordley said. "I've been working on my masters to prepare for that and an opportunity presented itself at Del Tech that didn't require me to have my master's yet. My years of experience and bachelor's degree opened the too for me to apply for that job."

Bordley announced his retirement in a letter to Smyrna Town Council on Dec. 18. In the letter Bordley thanked council for their trust and confidence in overseeing the Smyrna Police Department, which is feels is one of the best police agencies in the state.

Bordley has worked in the Smyrna Police Department for over 23 years. He was named interim police chief in Sept. 2010 and has held the position since then.

Smyrna Mayor Joanne Masten said she's happy for Bordley.

"I think his 23 years of experience with the town and his educational background will make him a dynamic teacher at Delaware Tech," Masten said. "I'm excited for him and his family."

Now the town will need to determine how to proceed forward with Bordley leaving.

Bordley said even though he's leaving for a good position, he's still sad.

"I'm 46 [years old] and I've been here almost 24 years so for more than half of my life I've been a police officer here in Smyrna. Anytime you put so much into a career and into the town it's sad," Bordley said. "Believe it or not, even though I'm leaving for a good position and the right reason it's still upsetting in a way to leave. It's not as easy as people think."

While Bordley intended on teaching upon his retirement, he thought the opportunity would be further down the road. His plan was to finish his master's degree and then get a job as an adjunct instructor until a full time position became available. Bordley will be a full time instructor teaching criminal justice courses such as constitutional law.

While the new job will be a pay cut for Bordley, he'll collect a pension from the Town of Smyrna. Bordley will continue working on his master's in public administration while teaching. His bachelor's degree is in criminal justice.

Bordley decided to pursue a career in teaching because of his time already spent in the classroom. He enjoyed teaching when he was a student resource officer at Smyrna High School and his time teaching D.A.R.E. When he went back to school to finish his degree, he was sitting in class one day looking at his instructor and thought, 'I would like to do that.'

Bordley said he will miss the staff in the Smyrna Police Department as well as the employees in the other departments of the town.

"The citizens of Smyrna have been nothing but supportive of me when I needed it most from the citizens. I appreciate them all for that," Bordley said. "I'm excited for my new opportunity and excited to be in the classroom helping students fulfill their goals to get careers in law enforcement."

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