About 200 people attended a reception at Bass Pro Shops for retired Police Chief Fred MIlls.

A group of former comrades, co-workers and rank-and-file officers from across the area helped retired Independence Police Chief Fred Mills celebrate his retreat into civilianhood.

Independence Police Spokesperson Tom Gentry said more than 200 people came through the conference room doors at the Bass Pro Shops Thursday to show gratitude for Mills’ 30 years of law enforcement service. Mills, former Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, retired April 1 after seven years as Independence police chief.

Gentry said law enforcement officials from the State Patrol and Jackson County Sheriff’s Department joined officers from local agencies, including the Kansas City, Sugar Creek and Independence police departments, in sharing cake, punch and fond memories of Mills.

“We are certainly going to miss him,” Gentry said. “He was a very personable guy. Logic tells you no matter what you do you are going to upset someone even if you are doing the right thing. But, he was such a good person, even those who didn’t care for what he had to do still liked him. And there were those who came by to say ‘we sure did appreciate you.’”

Mills, described by Gentry as low-key and not wanting to make a big fuss over the reception, said he was pleased with the turnout and support from fellow law enforcement officials.

“It was not bad,” Mills said of the reception, “not bad at all. I enjoyed it a lot.”

Mills said he has been spending time at home in Independence and making trips to the family’s lake house at the Lake of the Ozarks since calling it quits. He did let in on what he missed most about the job.

“I miss the people,” Mills said. “I miss helping citizens.”