The director of the Idaho State Police will retire in January, state officials announced Monday.
Col. Jerry Russell worked for the Oregon State Police for 26 years before becoming chief security officer for Idaho's Fourth Judicial District in 2001.
He became an exercise design specialist for the Idaho Military Division in 2003 and served as deputy director for operations at the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security beginning in February 2004. He became director of ISP in January 2007.
Russell announced his retirement in an email to staff Monday.
"I am so proud to have had the honor to lead one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the nation through the last six years," he wrote, according to a news release. "During our time together, we have met every challenge head on and with a spirit of optimism. No matter how tough the times got, we made it through together."
The news release described Russell focus on improving relations with Idaho's 44 county sheriff's, improving the POST training academy and improving emergency communications.
In a prepared statement, Gov. Butch Otter said he "couldnt have asked for a better director, a better leader or a better example of a true public servant than Ive had with Jerry Russell."
Russell's retirement is effective Jan. 18. Russell's replacement has not yet been named.
The state Senate will need to approve the appointment of the next director.