The Rio Rancho Police Department announced Captain Joel Holt retired from the force on July 6.

Holt served as the drug recognition expert and earned awards for his work. Last September, Holt graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

“Captain Holt was instrumental in advancing our tattoo policy and beard policy,” a Facebook post from RRPD said.

Holt dealt with many high-profile cases during his career, including a few internal affairs incidents.

He recalled the good and bad times while at RRPD.

“Amazing people fill the halls of RRPD – it was great getting to go to the office every day and work with my friends to accomplish things that will directly benefit the community. That is impossible to replace, no matter how interesting my new job is. Every day was a different challenge and opportunity,” Holt said.

However, the grueling hours and uncomfortable uniform weren’t always a good part of the job for Holt. He says the worst part was the frustration of a slow day at the office.

“I won’t miss being on-call for years or wearing that vest and belt when working in an office all day. It is the nature of government work to sometimes move slowly – that was frustrating sometimes. Overall, there’s very little not to miss,” he said.

Holt added that he has no regrets about his time as an officer.

While his retirement hasn’t fully kicked in for him yet, he feels his time as an officer went by quickly.

“I’m not sure it has fully hit me yet. Wearing that uniform every day for so many years and suddenly getting to wear what I want is a nice change. I can say that all the years I did this went by quickly. Even in the end, I felt like the new guy, and I was just getting started. The years fly by when you are doing something you enjoy and know you are making a difference,” Holt added.

Holt acknowledged that police work is not for everyone but that the people who can handle it should pursue a specialty.

“And make sure you can be passionate about the job without it becoming your identity,” he ended with.

Officially, his last day was June 29.