MTAA's Police And Fire Chief Retires After 29 Years

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- The Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority Police and Fire Chief is retiring after 29 years on the job.

"29 years and it's time to hand it over to somebody younger, it's time," says Jim Gardner.

For 29 years, Jim Gardner says he helped with Law Enforcement and firefighter duties and at times even plowed snow.

'"And they said 'go get in the dump truck we are going to push snow', and I laughed. I thought they were kidding me, they weren't," Jim says jokingly.

"He always wanted to make sure he had everything covered. When we had snow events out there and he would come in, he was physically here in the middle of the night," says Jim's co-worker, Larry Collins.

Jim's last day is Friday. He will hand over the reins to Ken Zawlacki to fill the interim position.

Jim's coworkers say they will miss his leadership, hard work, and most of all his sense of humor.

Jim says he plans to relax and spend time with his wife Connie. In the meantime, Ken Zawlacki has been with the MTAA for 16 years and Jim says Ken is well suited for the permanent position.