St. Clairsville Police Chief Martin Kendzora on Monday announced his intention to retire after 48 years of service.
He was appointed chief in 1975 upon the retirement of Thomas Minder.
"I have been blessed to have worked with supportive council members and Mayor (Robert) Vincenzo," Kendzora told council during its Monday meeting. "I can't thank the mayor enough for his support and backing he has given me over the years.
"I have always tried to be fair and accurate. I have always tried to live up to the objectives of this profession," he added. "To the many fine people, friends, citizens, I won't forget you. Keep up the good work. I hope I have served you well. I hope all of them can say that I have been fair. That would be the best retirement present that I could receive."
Vincenzo spoke of their longtime friendship and the experience of working with Kendzora.
"He deserves his retirement. He has served this city exemplary without a question," Vincenzo said. "It will be very hard for me not to have him by my side as my police chief, and I can't say I have more respect for one individual than I've had for Chief Kendzora."
"Thank you for all your time and effort that you have given this city. Because of you and your leadership, you have made St. Clairsville a safe and very desirable town to live in," said Councilman Perry Jones. "Your shoes will be very difficult to fill."
"He doesn't do what's political, he does what's right," said Service Director Dennis Bigler. "The city and the valley is losing one of its legendary police chiefs, in my opinion."
During his time leading the police department, Kendzora's duties called him to work closely with the city departments and superintendents.
He complimented the employees for their dedication to maintaining the city.
His final day on the job is set for June 28.
Upon retiring, Kendzora plans to enjoy spending time with family.