LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

St. Matthews Police chief retires after 63-year career in law enforcement


From chasing bad guys to delivering babies, the chief of the St. Matthews Police Department has done it all.

But this week, Chief Norm Mayer announced he is retiring after nearly 30 years as chief in St. Matthews and more than 60 in law enforcement.

"I had several presidents that I took charge of that came here," Mayer said. "Reagan was one of them."

From U.S. presidents to iconic religious figures, Mayer has been responsible for some pretty famous people.

"Mother Teresa, I was her escort," he said. "She was probably by far the best I've had."

Mayer career started back when policing was a lot different.

"We had no EMS," he said. "We were EMS."

Mayer first put on the badge in 1954. Dwight Eisenhower was president, gas was 22 cents a gallon and police officers wore a lot of hats.

He retired as a lieutenant from the old Louisville Police Department in 1982. But after a few years of civilian life, he realized policing was still in his blood, and that's when he applied for the top job with St. Matthews Police.

Mayor Richard Tonini and Councilman Bernard Bowling, who is the former mayor, were both on city council back 1988 and believed then and now, they picked the right man for the job.

"We narrowed it down to a couple and interviewed, and Chief Mayer was the obvious one we hired," Tonini said.

But when he started, Mayer inherited a small department with limited resources.

"They had few officers, poor equipment, poor pay," Tonini said.

Tonini said under the Mayer's leadership, the department more than tripled in size.

"And he gradually worked and worked and worked with the city council," Tonini said. "We now have the best equipment. We have the best pay. We have great benefits."

Mayer's last day is right around the corner, but no one believes he's leaving for good.

Bowling said, "I suspect we'll see him around here walking the halls after he retires," Bowling said.

Mayer's last day is July 30. City leaders have started the process of finding his replacement.