- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Rapid City’s police chief is calling it a career after three decades in law enforcement.

Steve Allender plans to retire at the end of May. The 52-year-old Belle Fourche native began his career 29 years ago with the force in that city, spending two years there before moving on to the Rapid City Police Department in 1985. He was named chief in 2007.

Allender said he feels the time is right to retire. He has no specific plans but looks forward to spending more time with his family

“My head is appropriately clouded from 29 years of hard work and being focused on one thing, one mission for all that time,” he said. “I need a little clear air to figure out what’s left in me and what my next move will be.”

Allender hasn’t ruled out running for public office but said he won’t make any decision “until I’m rested up and recharged.”

The low point in his career came three years ago, when Officers Ryan McCandless and Nick Armstrong were shot and killed and Officer Tim Doyle was injured in a confrontation with a man who also died in the exchange of gunfire, Allender said.

“I’d be lying if I said it had no impact on me or maybe how I arrived at this decision,” the chief said.

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