Chief Cumiskey announces retirement from Worthington Police Department

WORTHINGTON – Worthington Police Chief Mike Cumiskey will retire at the end of May, he officially announced today. He began to let staff know Thursday and Friday of last week, and got all paperwork filed by the end of the week.

“After much soul searching and a lot of talk and prayer, I will retire from law enforcement,” he said this morning. “I’ve spent 28 years in law enforcement.”

On the hutch behind his desk are the hats he has collected for years and he admitted he has no idea what he’ll do with them. Or most of the things in his office, for that matter.

“I’m not even sure what this is,” he said in jest as he re-rolled a set of blueprints he had been looking at.

Cumiskey has been with the city since August of 1999 – almost 15 years. His title isn’t actually police chief. Technically, he is Worthington’s Director of Public Safety. But in the hallways of the Prairie Justice Center, he is Chief Cumiskey, or more often, especially to the men and women of the Worthington Police Department, he is simply known as Chief.

All around the state, there have been a lot of retirement from law enforcement this year. A change in Minnesota law involving the Public Employees Retirement Association, known as PERA, froze the cost of living adjustment, then increased the penalty for retiring early.

“I’m in an age group between 50 and 55 years old that is going to see the changes,” Cumiskey said. “The penalties don’t take effect until July 1, but you have to be retired and drawing PERA for one month, so the last day you can retire is May 31.”

Cumiskey has been tossing the idea around for quite some time, trying to decide what he wanted to do as a second career. Finally he decided the first order of business was just to take some time to decompress.

“I talked it out with my wife, and we decided I should just be a house husband for awhile,” Cumiskey laughed. “She sees it as a way to maybe get out and do a little fishing on Saturdays.”

As for after the decompression stage, Cumiskey is still trying on a few ideas. He spent some time as an adjunct instructor as Minnesota West and enjoyed the experience.

“I might get involved in doing that, but I am open to other things,” he said.

In the Worthington Police Department, the city administrator, council and service commission will have to set the rules and determine what the process will be to replace Cumiskey. A provisional appointment for an interim chief will likely be made, Cumiskey said, and then the civil service commission will have to get to work advertising the position and deciding whether to hire from outside or within.

In the meantime, Cumiskey offered his thanks to the city of Worthington, the city council, City Administrator Craig Clark, and mostly, he said, to the people at the Worthington Police Department.

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