A Strasburg police lieutenant is entering retirement after 17 years with the local department.
Lt. Robert “Lonnie” Conner’s last day is Friday.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Conner about entering retirement as well as leaving the Strasburg Police Department.
Conner began his law enforcement career in 2000 as a reserve officer with the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office while he was a supervisor at Merillat Industries, where he began working in 1986.
In 2003, he joined Strasburg full time, where he worked his way up the ranks from patrol officer. He was a general, taser, less lethal, and active shooter instructor, as well as a field training officer and being SWAT certified.
“He means a lot to me,” said Chief Wayne Sager, who entered the force around the same time as Conner about 15 years ago and is friends with Conner’s son.
Sager’s words came during a Town Council meeting Monday night in which Conner was honored, and came as he fought back tears. Conner was a reason Sager got into law enforcement, the chief said.
“That’s the best feeling in the world,” Conner said about helping people throughout his career.
The Strasburg community has been supportive of the local police department, which is needed in response to the current tense relationship between people and law enforcement, Conner said. There are more good than bad officers, he noted.
His wife was his rock, Conner said. He is looking forward to relaxing with family and fishing, which he and Sager agreed at the Monday meeting to continue doing.
During the meeting, Mayor Brandy Boise and Councilwoman Emily Reynolds commented on Conner being an instructor, with Reynolds added his impact will continue to be felt because of that.
Also at Monday's meeting, the council discussed the potential sale of .12 acres of oddly shaped town-owned land on West Queen Street to a neighboring property owner for $5,000. The town would keep a neighboring .13 acres as an easement for a utility mainline in the area.
There is an above-ground water tank on the property that will be removed and was part of the old water treatment plant, which is across the way at 388 W.Queen St., according to a memo by Town Wyatt Manager Pearson. There is no current or future use for the land that the town is aware of, the memo states.