Lt. John Dyer and wife, Peggy, to leave Oak Harbor

Peggy and John Dyer, a well-known Oak Harbor couple, are moving to Colorado as John has accepted a job as police chief in the town of Rifle. - File photo
Peggy and John Dyer, a well-known Oak Harbor couple, are moving to Colorado as John has accepted a job as police chief in the town of Rifle.
— image credit: File photo

One of Oak Harbor’s best known couples is leaving the island.

After 28 years on the force, Lt. John Dyer is leaving the Oak Harbor Police Department to run a department in a mountain town with a really cool name. His wife Peggy, well known in her own right for her community involvement, will be going along.

Dyer gave his notice last week that he’s leaving to become police chief in Rifle, Colo., a town of about 10,000 population on the west slope of the Rockies.

“I’m excited about the opportunity and the challenge, but it was a very tough decision,” he said.

As Dyer points out, it’s no secret that he’s long wanted to be a police chief. He was the runner-up candidate for Oak Harbor police chief when Rick Wallace was chosen to lead the department. He was recently a finalist for police chief in Des Moines, Wash.

And he applied for the now-vacant Oak Harbor police chief position.

Dyer said he and his wife, Peggy, are sad about leaving Oak Harbor, but he felt it was the best decision for everyone. The Oak Harbor Police Department went through some discord during last year’s mayoral election as some police officers took different sides. The winning candidate, Mayor Scott Dudley, then fired Chief Wallace in a controversial move.

“I want the Oak Harbor Police Department to be successful,” Dyer said. “I’m not sure I’m the right person at the right time.”

Dyer was chosen from 78 applications in Rifle and was unanimously approved by the Rifle City Council; he said the council members were especially impressed by his longtime involvement in the Oak Harbor community. He said the police department is very cohesive there and he has the support of the retiring chief.

“It’s really more of a recipe for success,” he said.

Dyer will be running a department of 20 commissioned officers and four civilian employees.

Peggy Dyer is the executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Oak Harbor. John Dyer said she is working with the board of directors to decide what’s the best way to transition. She’s offering to stay until after the New Year to help with the process.

As for Oak Harbor, Dyer’s departure means that there are only five candidates left for the police chief position, according to Mayor Dudley. He said he’s hoping for a very public process of selecting the chief, but he wouldn’t release the names of the finalists until later.

“There’s no need to,” he said.


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