Dan Cyr, 54, spent much of his 26-year career in La Plata County law enforcement giving back to his community, and even after his retirement, he plans to keep it up.
“I already volunteered to go back to the high school and do a forensics class next week,” Cyr said.
Cyr started his career in the La Plata County Jail and spent years working as an investigator in the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Along the way, he spent decades instructing others in law enforcement, either at the Southwest Law Enforcement Academy or in Bayfield schools.
After more than 10 years with the Bayfield Marshal’s Office, Cyr started his retirement Jan. 7 with a bittersweet feeling.
“I’ve always felt like my relationship was hate and love at the same time: You love the job, but you hate doing it for a lot of reasons,” Cyr said. “As much as you look forward to leaving it, when you do, you’re already missing it.”
Losing family as a child was one reason he decided to join law enforcement. Two of his cousins were killed in a car crash when he was 9 years old. The driver, who didn’t stop, killed another person in a head-on collision.
“I had a lot of anger toward that guy,” Cyr said. “I always felt like I wanted to find that person and bring justice. I think that was one of the things in my life early on that made me want to help people when they’re in need.”
Cyr first started working with the Bayfield Marshal’s Office in January 1995. Back then, he said the uniform was a pair of Wrangler jeans, a cowboy hat and a uniform shirt.
After seven years at the District Attorney’s Office, he returned to the Bayfield Marshal’s Office in 2010.
Looking back, he remembered life-threatening calls, like when a homicide suspect stepped out of his car and pointed a gun at Cyr. During another incident, he was responding to a call after an industrial explosion and thinking the whole time, they were “going to blow up,” he said.
“It’s satisfying, but it’s also sometimes hard to cope with,” he said. “And it may be hard for the victims to cope with, because when they see you, it may remind them of when you were in their home on their darkest day.”
Among his proudest accomplishments, Cyr listed his time teaching others.
Cyr began working at the Southwest Law Enforcement Academy in 1998, eventually directing the academy for three semesters.
As a school resource officer, he helped launch interactive, prevention-focused courses at Bayfield schools that included semester-long and yearlong classes for students. (High school students described Cyr as amazing and “very relatable – sort of like the fun uncle.”)
The Cyr family even opened a karate school in town. Cyr is a fifth-degree black belt in Shotokan karate, a master level in the martial arts form.
Hal Koenig, who worked with Cyr at the Bayfield Marshal’s Office, described him as someone who “exudes professionalism, the kind of guy who keeps his shoes polished and his hair cut.”
Cyr was a natural at building community relationships, Koenig said.
“A lot of people get the deer-in-the-headlights look, but from Day 1, Dan could work with the public,” Koenig said. “As a supervisor ... he led by example. I think that was one of his best traits.”
Upon retirement, Cyr shifted his focus to the construction company, Blueline Builders, which he co-owns with his wife, Sandra. Through Blueline, Cyr hopes to offer scholarships to students interested in law enforcement or other first-responder positions.
Another top priority: giving back to his family, he said.
“All the sacrifices that first responders make, our families make a bigger sacrifice. My wife and children paid a huge price for me to be in law enforcement,” Cyr said.
Cyr’s wife and kids have been entangled with his career since Day 1: His daughter, Nicole, was even born during his first day on the job.
Dan and Sandra Cyr recalled the holidays and school performances Dan missed because of his work. The family rarely went out in public together after they received a threatening letter early in Dan’s career that mentioned Sandra and the kids.
Sandra always made sure their children told their father they loved him before he walked out the door to go to work.
“This is kind of painful to say, but in my mind, it was always if something would happen to him on the job, that was going to be their last memory of him,” she said. “I don’t want to sound too extremely happy, but I really am. I’m looking forward to spending more time together and knowing we have that time to spend together.”
On Cyr’s last day in the office, the Marshal’s Office “surprised” him with a retirement celebration.
Cyr said he saw the signs – a suspiciously located patrol vehicle, a colleague who needed a ride to pick up his car, but showed up in full uniform.
“The whole parking lot was lined with fire trucks and patrol cars. They had a banner for my retirement,” he said. “That was kind of cool.”
Looking forward to his next steps, Cyr thanked the supervisors and community members that made it possible for him to serve in law enforcement.
“I feel like we’re not doing this job by ourselves, it’s a community effort,” Cyr said. “We need the community to support us in order for us to do our jobs.”