Longtime Gardena Police Chief Richard Propster has announced that he plans to retire from the department in June--six months earlier than he had planned.
"I feel very sad about leaving," Propster said. "I'm closing a chapter in my life. There's a time for everything and it's just my time to leave."
Propster, 52, started his law enforcement career in Gardena 31 years ago and has been with the Police Department ever since. He has served as chief since 1977.
Propster planned to retire in December, but this week announced that he was moving up his plans to June 30. He would not discuss his reasons for an early departure, but many city employees are opting for early retirements because the city is trying to cut its payroll by 14% to close a budget gap.
"I don't know what I'll do, but I plan to do good," Propster said.