In a statement Tuesday, Pasadena Fire Chief Dennis J. Downs announced his retirement, effective Sept. 26.
 
Deputy Fire Chief Calvin Wells will extend his own service past his previously announced August retirement and has been tapped to serve as interim fire chief until a permanent replacement can be found.
 
In the statement issued Tuesday morning, Downs said he’d informed City Manager Michael Beck of his retirement plans four months ago to give Beck time to come up with a succession plan. 
 
Downs’ exit will end a 37-year career in public safety, seven and half of those years spent as Pasadena fire chief. 
 
Downs said that he is not planning to seek full-time employment elsewhere, but rather plans to do some consulting work after moving to Ventura with his wife, Dale. He wrote that Dale has a list of chores “that will likely keep me busy for several years” and that he will also work on improving his golf game. 
 
“Leadership is all about developing positive relationships; I am satisfied in knowing that we have developed good, solid relationships on an individual basis as well as organizationally,” Downs said in the statement. “When I accepted this position seven and a half years ago, I vowed ‘to leave the Fire Department and our City better than when I got here.’  Looking back over these past years, I believe that I have accomplished this goal.”