In an emotional farewell, a large crowd filled the Mesquite Senior Center meeting room to honor retiring police officers Ron Richmond and Mike Van Houten. The Sept. 1 ceremony was hosted by Mesquite Police Department Chief Troy Tanner and Lt. MaQuade Chesley.
Detective Richmond has been with the MPD for 19 years and is well known in the region as a top investigator. Tanner called Richmond “The best detective I’ve met in my career,” and praised his ability to solve cases. Richmond was particularly praised for the years of work he did with other agencies to shut down gang activity in the Mesquite area in 2011. “Ron was responsible for taking down over 130 gang members and solving five homicides as part of the investigation,” Tanner said.
Richmond was teased for his blunt manner, but responded that by saying “I’m outspoken but honest.”
Several officers from other departments around the region congratulated Richmond on his years of police work, and wished him well in retirement. Richmond has retired to Mapleton, Utah.
Also honored was retiring Sergeant Mike Van Houten. Chesley praised Van Houten and credited him with helping him as a new officer. “Mike would stop me almost every day and ask me if I had helped someone today,” Chesley said. At the end of his presentation, Chesley said “Mike Van Houten is the Mesquite Police Department.”
Tanner followed by listing all of the awards Van Houten has received over the years including Officer of the Year, Employee of the Year and numerous other awards. Van Houten was recognized twice by Congressional resolutions for his community work. Van Houten is the first retiring officer of the MPD to serve his entire career in Mesquite, joining the Department in 1987.
Tanner concluded by listing all the youth programs that Van Houten has organized and run during his years with the Department. “His legacy will be the youth programs,” said Chief Tanner.
Van Houten thanked all who attended and said he knew the hand of God was looking over his work as an officer. “It’s not about us, it’s about the people we serve,” Van Houten concluded.