TPD Chief Cochran to retire at the end of the year

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 7:22 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2020 at 8:42 PM CDT
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TOPEKA (WIBW) - Topeka will begin 2021 with a search for a new Police Chief, as Bill Cochran has announced he will retire January 1st of next year.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about and 34 years is a long time. We had our first grandchild a week and a half ago and we got another one coming in December and it’s time to be a grandpa.”

The announcement of Cochran’s retirement was made by City Manager Brent Trout at the Topeka City Council meeting Tuesday evening.

Cochran says one thing he’ll miss most about his time in the department is his involvement in the community.

“A lot of great relationships and a lot of great partnerships, but one of the things that I learned from one of our previous chiefs, Ron Miller, is to have your staff involved in the community and that is one thing that we have done and I have carried on.”

He’ll be departing just a dozen days short of his 3rd anniversary of becoming Chief. Bill Cochran was named to the position on January 12th, of 2018, after serving as TPD’s Interim Chief.

“Chief Cochran informed me last week that he has decided to retire as of January 1, 2021," Trout told Council members.

"This is a planned event that he is looking forward to. At this point, we’ll have more details in the future regarding how we’ll move forward with his presence. I will miss Chief Cochran. This announcement was something that I knew would come eventually, but when he actually turned it in, it obviously very much surprised me from the standpoint of we’ve been in the middle of so many good things that we’re working on... but I do recognize that he’s completing a journey of 33 years of service to the City of Topeka, and very proud of all the things that he’s accomplished while he’s been Chief.”

The council will work on the details this fall, on the process of selecting a new Chief for the department.

Cochran has served in several areas of the Department, including Major of the criminal investigations unit, homicide, traffic, patrol, and field operations. He also has played a major role in the department’s community mental health training, particularly with veterans. Served on the state’s Crisis Intervention Team committee and the Suicide Prevention Coalition.

In addition, Cochran served 20 years in the Army National Guard, retiring in 2005. His time in military service included 13 months in Iraq.

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