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Police Chief Mike Empey has announced he will resign effective May 15, ending four years as Ogden's leading law enforcement officer.

Empey, 47, said he eventually will move back to his hometown of St. George and may launch a second career as a dealer in antiques, a lifelong interest.Empey said Thursday that although his decision to step down was voluntary it was not an easy one.

"It's my decision. People can speculate all they want, but I couldn't be more complimentary of the mayor and (city administrator) Rocky Fluhart," the chief said. "The time is right for me.

"I like this place. The people who are here, all the circumstances our department works under, I can't speak highly enough about the quality of people," Empey added.

When he was first appointed as chief in 1991, he never expected to hold the position for more than five years.

"I always thought I would be chief from three to five years. It just happened to be at four years," said Empey, who joined the Ogden police force in 1971.

Antiques - his own collection includes an old medicinal bottle of marijuana, complete with dosing instructions - have been his hobby through the years, and now may become his next pursuit.

Empey said he dreams of being an "antique mogul," traveling the countryside in search of early American treasures, "buying low and selling high.

"Antiques are such a far cry from law enforcement it even sounds a little strange to me," he said.