LEWISVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Police Chief Russ Kerbow, who has served in the Lewisville Police Department since 1978, announced he will retire in August.

“When I took over as Chief, my philosophy was, and still is, that it’s hard for a chief to be as effective as they can be much longer than about 10 years,” Kerbow said. “My retirement fits in with that guideline, and I feel it’s really time for someone else to take the reins.”

kerbow head shot 1 Lewisville Police Chief Retiring After 40 Years With Department

Russ Kerbow – Lewisville Police Chief (City of Lewisville)

According to a City of Lewisville news release, Chief Kerbow joined the department in 1978 after some friends from high school, serving on the police force, encouraged him to apply. He jokes that he thought he did so poorly in his interview there would be no way he’d be hired. He served as an officer from 1978-1983, held the rank of sergeant from 1983-1991, served as lieutenant from 1991-1997, served as Commander of Criminal Investigations from 1997-2001, promoted to Captain in 2001, promoted to Assistant Chief in 2004, and finally promoted to Police Chief in 2007 following Chief Steve McFadden’s retirement.

“Russ has been the face of Lewisville policing for many years. He is an outstanding police chief and an outstanding ambassador for Lewisville,” said Lewisville City Manager Donna Barron. “He genuinely loves his hometown and the people who live here. This city has been fortunate to have such a dedicated public servant.”

The city says the Lewisville Police Department grew significantly under Chief Kerbow. He was the 33rd police officer on the force when he was hired. Today, LPD is authorized 158 officers. He said his main goal was to build on the culture established by Chief McFadden of always making sure LPD stood for professionalism and innovation.

Chief Kerbow said his proudest achievement was having LPD recognized by the Texas Police Chiefs Association as a “Best Practices” program. The department was first recognized in 2010, earned the recognition again in 2014, and is in line to earn that recognition again this year.

He said he is also proud the department built and opened a state-of-the-art jail in 2008, and completed the 5,000-square-foot addition to the police training facility.

“Not coming to work with these fine men and women each day will be the toughest part of retirement,” Kerbow said. “These people are what keeps you sane when things are going pretty crazy.”

Chief Kerbow says the time is right to retire now because his wife will retire in December, and it will give them a chance to travel and take advantage of some other exciting opportunities. Becky Kerbow currently serves as the Denton County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace. Chief Kerbow already has signed up to teach a couple of classes on 21St Century Policing this Spring at The University of North Texas in Denton.

“On a personal note, I will greatly miss working with Russ,” Barron said. “He is a person who cares deeply about his work and the people with whom he works. I wish him and Becky the very best in their well-earned retirement.