At 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, Chief Timothy Burton of the Odessa Police Department will officially retire. 

The news was announced this afternoon and confirmed by City Manager Richard Morton who said the chief retired for “personal reasons.”

“Chief Burton has served the citizens of Odessa for 8 years. He has, in my opinion, done a great job for the department, for the men and women of the department and for the citizens of Odessa,” Morton said in s phone interview Friday. “He is retiring, well deserved, for personal reasons. I’d much rather he continue on with us, but I understand his reasons.”

Burton has now released his own retirement letter the the police department, the city and the residents of Odessa saying; “First and Foremost, I would like to thank the wonderful men and woman who work at the Odessa Police Department. It has been my honor and privilege to have served with this fine group of professional public servants.”

He goes on to say, “Finally I would like to thank the citizens of Odessa for their steadfast support for law enforcement. Thank you all once again. I hope that my service has been of benefit to the city.”

You can read the full letter from Chief Burton below: 

Deputy Chief Mike Gerke is set to take over on an interim basis.

Morton says Gerke will serve as Chief while the city works to find a replacement for Burton. 

However, while addressing the media on Friday, Chief Gerke says he would like to, and plans to put his name in for the permanent position.