DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) — Derby Police Chief Robert Lee has announced his retirement.

Lee will step down on July 4, 2023. Lee became Derby’s Chief in 2009 after retiring from the Wichita Police Department (WPD).

He spent 28 years with WPD, eventually becoming Deputy Chief in charge of the Field Services Division. His retirement next year will end 42 years in law enforcement.

“Derby has been an amazing place to work in the second part of my career,” says Lee in an article posted to the City of Derby’s website. “I feel like I have accomplished everything I set out to do, and now it’s time to step down and allow others to lead the department.”

The City cites several of Lee’s accomplishments while announcing his retirement, including being instrumental in the department obtaining accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, one of just 11 departments in the state, steering the department towards community policing, and creating a shoplifting response team. The City says Lee’s efforts have seen crime reduce while the city’s population continued to grow.

“The leadership that Chief Lee has provided during his career in Derby is invaluable,” says City Manager Kiel Mangus. “He is a dedicated public servant who put a strong emphasis on community policing and police officers being active and involved in the community, himself included. I will miss his straight-shooting attitude and approach to law enforcement. I wish him the best in this next stage of life.”

The search for Lee’s successor will begin in January. The City will post information about the search for a new chief at DerbyPolice.com.