After almost three decades, DPS Deputy Commissioner Leseiau ready to retire
After nearly three decades of service to the Department of Public Safety, Deputy Commissioner Leseiau Laumoli is ready to walk away from what he calls his “second home” and his “second family”.
Leseiau has already made known to Governor Lolo Moliga and Police Commissioner William Haleck his intention to retire and move on.
In an interview with the Samoa News last Friday, Leseiau said his retirement isn’t something that he decided on overnight, adding that it was always in his plan to call it quits in 2014.
“I want to spend more time with my family and enjoy my retirement,” he said through a telephone interview. “I want to make regular visits to the doctors off island to ensure that my health is in tip top shape.”
He said he is “looking forward” to retiring and this is something that he has to do, to fulfill his word to his wife and children that come 2014, when he turns 55 years old, he will walk away from his job as the second in charge of the territory’s police force.
Leseiau has been with DPS since 1985, after he moved back to the territory following years of being off island. This year marks 29 years of service for him in local law enforcement and he couldn’t be more proud of the legacy he is leaving behind.
“I want to leave clean,” he said, adding that there is absolutely no rift between him and Commissioner Haleck, or Governor Lolo and his administration, and they have nothing to do with his decision to retire.
Leseiau laid to rest rumors that his decision to retire has anything to do with differences of opinion between him and Haleck.
“I told my wife and kids two years ago about my plans to retire this year and they supported my decision. This was before Haleck even came on board as DPS Commissioner. This is something I decided on long ago and there is absolutely no tension between me and Haleck, or the Lolo administration, as some people may think,” Leseiau explained.
“Haleck is a good man. He is dedicated to the job and does what has to be done. He and I have a great work relationship,” Leseiau added.
The Deputy Commissioner says he looks forward to vacationing with his wife and “having a good time together,” after his retirement becomes official in 60 days, which will be after this year’s Flag Day celebration in April.
When asked what his fondest memories of DPS are, Leseiau responded: “All the experiences I gained every time I had to go through advanced specialized training both here and off island.”
He said, “It’s not going to be easy leaving this place because, like law enforcement offices everywhere else in the world, we consider each other family here at DPS. This is the pride of being a cop, being amidst your second family everyday and believing that we, as a team, not only protect and serve the public, but also each other.”
Leseiau said his decision to retire opens up the gate for younger cops to climb up the ladder, with one of them eventually becoming Deputy Commissioner.
“There is no other rank for me to achieve. This is the highest rank I can attain as a career service employee at DPS,” he said. (The position of DPS Commissioner is a political appointment that requires Fono approval and the appointee works on contract).
When asked if he will return to DPS as a contract worker after he retires, Leseiau said that as of now, he has no thoughts of doing so.
For now, Leseiau says he is focused on making his health his utmost priority because “sickness and illnesses can take over” and he needs to make sure that he stays healthy so he can enjoy life as a retiree.