State trooper calls it a career

OBSERVER Photo by Andrew David Kuczkowski New York State Trooper Richard Kota, left, shakes hands with Gowanda Mayor Dave Smith at a recent Gowanda Village Board meeting.

GOWANDA — Richard Kota is hanging up his New York State Troopers’ hat after 31 years.

Gowanda Mayor Dave Smith brought Kota to a recent village board meeting to honor that accomplishment and what it meant for those in the village.

“He has been a policeman for 31 years, many in our area and surrounding areas,” Smith said. “… Your service speaks volumes of your character.”

“I’d like to give credit to Tim McKeever, who reached out to me to make me aware of your retirement and of your outstanding service,” Smith added.

The village board later gave Kota a letter signed by the trustees, complementing the three-plus decades of service. Kota spoke to the board about the honor:

“I am honored to be recognized for 31 years of service,” he said. “My career has been filled with a lot of fulfilling and rewarding moments; I am just doing my job. … Gowanda has always been my home. Moving forward, whoever takes my place, I am sure will work hand-and-hand with anything that the village of Gowanda needs. One of our missions as state police is to work with local police. … I am humbled and thank you.”

The next village board meeting will be Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. at village hall.

Twitter: @Kuczkowski95