Assets in Action: Hail to the Chief

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

This week, I wanted my column to focus on the Asset building ways and pending retirement of Chief Wayne Torpy.
Chief Torpy is one of those people that the terms, “true gentleman,” and “a man’s man,” comes from.
Since I moved to Los Alamos, every time a chief retired, or moved on, it has always seemed like big shoes to fill. I believe this time the shoes are pretty gigantic.
There are some people that only need one name for you to know exactly who you are talking about, like Oprah, you only need “Chief.”
The Chief is an Asset builder in a variety of ways.
He was instrumental in getting the skate park here and was rather savvy in the placement location and actually involving teens in the entire process, not just in the lip service.
He pushes his officers to be their best, in placing on boards and committees, allowing us to get to know more of his people.
My favorite Torpy story is when we both sat on a local committee. At one point, we were both nominated for the vice chair position by other members on the committee. I almost swallowed my tongue at the thought that there was even a small chance that I would be selected over the Chief.
I nervously raised my hand and withdrew my name citing the fact that I was just too busy and didn’t think I could have more on my plate. At the time, I had three young children, perhaps even all were elementary age.
The Chief, in perfect timing and fashion, said something along the lines of, thanks a lot Bernadette, because I’m not busy at all. Just when I was about to feel the pressure of a huge, even if unintentional faux pas he laughed, instantly relieving me of the burden.
I was in a class when Officer John Chicoine retired for the Los Alamos Police Department. I have always regretted not attending his final farewell party. I thank the county for making the one for Chief Torpy, a community event.
I think what I will miss the most is the Chat with the Chief opportunities. I always made time to show up to talk about Assets and what the programs could do together. The Chief really likes doughnuts and I always brought them to the chats.
So thanks Chief Torpy, for being a great role model for youth and adults, in our community. I hope you actually stay around when so many others seem to retire and get out of Dodge.
I extend a heartfelt invitation to our monthly gatherings with students called, Cookies and Conversations. I promise that any time you would like to attend, I will rename the event Doughnuts and Discussions.