Coffey retiring after 10 years as Barboursville police chief
BARBOURSVILLE — After 46 years in the police force and more than 10 as the Barboursville chief of police, Mike Coffey is retiring, effective Monday.
The Barboursville Police Department threw a retirement party for its outgoing chief Friday, where friends, family, local officials and fellow officers from several departments, including Huntington Police Chief Hank Dial and Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle, gathered to pay tribute to Coffey and his nearly half-decade-long career.
Coffey, who said he’s been working since his first job at the age of 16 at Steel of West Virginia in Charleston, said retirement is the one thing you’re supposed to look forward to your entire working career, but it also comes with some uncertainty.
“It seems like you’re finally reaching the finish line, but also it’s bittersweet,” Coffey said. “You get used to doing these things, and I don’t have any idea what I’m going to do on Monday.”
Coffey, 63, was named chief of police July 1, 2008. He began his police career in 1973, first as military police. He went on to serve 26 years with the Huntington Police Department on patrol, then served two years on patrol with Barboursville before becoming chief.
Coffey said a main highlight of his career was getting the new police station at 815 Main St. in 2017.
Previously, BPD was located on the second floor of City Hall. Coffey identified the empty former post office building as a great location for the new police department, making it much more accessible to the public.
The retiring chief said a main point in his career has been to remind his officers, especially the newcomers, to be safe and slow down.
“Young officers know what they see on television, and that’s nothing close to real life,” Coffey said.
Coffey said while he is usually the quiet guy who hangs out in corners, his successor, Daren McNeil, is a little more outgoing and will probably do things a little differently, but he wishes him and the department the best in the future.
“It’s been an honor and a pleasure in Barboursville,” Coffey said. “It’s a great place to live and work.”
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“It seems like you’re finally reaching the finish line, but also it’s bittersweet. You get used to doing these things, and I don’t have any idea what I’m going to do on Monday.”
Barboursville chief of police