After only ten months as our Chief of Police, Randy Parmer has left Taos to return to Jacksonville, Florida.
I dropped in on the Town’s little Goodbye gathering at Parcht on Wednesday evening, to pay my respects and wish Randy well during this new phase in his life.
Well liked by the Force, the Town and everyone else who had the pleasure of making his acquaintance, Randy is not leaving because the “mountain spat him out,” nor is he going because Taos is too crazy for him (although he has mentioned it’s a bit crazy), he’s going home to care for his ailing 80-year-old mother who still lives in Jacksonville.
I met Randy one evening at an event at the El Monte Sagrado Resort and Spa, introducing Chef Christina Martinez to our community. More about Christina soon, but the Chief was there with Karina Armijo, the Town of Taos’ Marketing Director.
Out of uniform and off duty, I assumed Randy was a friend of Karina’s, possibly a hip and edgy motorcycle aficionado and would never in a million years have pegged him as a cop, let alone the Chief of Police aqui en Taos!
He was bright, witty and a total gentleman, pulling out chairs, offering drinks and absolutely charming, and very amusing company. I wound up hanging out with the two of them all evening, so when Karina told me he was leaving and invited me to drop by Parcht, I was there.
So was Randy (the off-duty Chief of Police), dressed in jeans, a cool T-shirt and even cooler leather motorcycle jacket, hanging out with Karina and a table full of other Town employees and fellow officers.
He pulled up a chair and asked if I’d like a glass of wine. I would and I did. As I sipped my Pinot Noir, I fired a few questions at our departing Chief.
I asked if he’d enjoyed his time in Taos and he responded with an affirmative nod.
“Absolutely,” he said, ” I love everyone I’ve worked with – all the people on the Force – good guys and girls – I hate to leave them.”
He looked around the table of folks gathered to send him off and continued.
“Really I can’t say one bad thing about anyone here, everyone is so down to earth and real, it’s been a pleasure to serve here.”
“You know, it’s funny because this job came as somewhat of a surprise to me.” He offered. “I was retired from the Force but a bit bored, so when I saw an application for this job, I started to fill it in, but it was so long, I didn’t complete it.”
He laughed. “I forgot about it until one day I got a call from the Town offering me the job and asking that I complete the application.”
The rest as they say, is history.
“I’ll miss everyone here but I’m sure I’ll visit,” he told me. “It’s been a great experience.”
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the Mayor (Dan Barrone) and the Town Manager (Rick Bellis), they are both total gentlemen and very hard workers.”
“And of course, Karina.” he smiled.
Karina and Randy became fast friends soon after he arrived. Both are great sports, even dressing up and going out on Halloween to join the kids on Taos Plaza. That’s the Chief dressed up as Batman!
“They’re all total professionals, ” he told me. “Mayor Barrone, Rick Bellis and Karina – Taos is lucky to have them all.”
A town as cool as Taos finally has a team in place that reflect that coolness. I doubt we’ll get another Police Chief as cool as Randy Parmer but one can hope.
Meanwhile, thanks Chief Parmer, for your service and your friendship to our community. You’ll always be welcome in the Land of Enchantment.
“I won’t be too far from Lenny (Foster),” he said as I was leaving. “I’ll be glad to see him there.”
Seems like Taos might soon be everywhere.
Top and bottom shots by Ana Karina Armijo. Batman shot c/o Ana Karina Armijo.
Other shots taken on my iphone.