FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – After serving the City of Fort Worth for the past 28 years, Chief Ed Kraus has announced his intention to retire from the Fort Worth Police Department at the end of the year.

He has agreed to remain as Chief of Police until the city has selected and hired a permanent replacement.

Chief Kraus announced his decision this morning in an email to employees, stating:

“I want to let you know that I have decided to retire from the FWPD. My wife has also decided to retire from her career in education, and we are ready to explore the next chapter in our lives. I have let the City leaders know that I will stay on through the end of the year or until they hire a new police chief.

I feel so blessed to have served our community with you over the past 28 years. I will forever have fond memories of this department, our accomplishments, and especially the relationships shared.

With change comes opportunity for improvement, and I have full confidence that you (our employees, volunteers, and leadership team), in partnership with our community, will guide our department forward.

I am so grateful for all the encouragement and support from the Department, the City and the Community.

Each week I send an email with compliments you receive from the community about your amazing service. Your servant hearts are regularly on display for others to see. I am proud of how much you care for those we serve.

I am eager to see where you take our department and I will continue to pray for you daily. It has been my honor to work for you.”

It’s been a whirlwind since he took over from the shooting of Atatiana Jefferson last October, to the recent civil unrest and protests following the death of George Floyd.

“The things that happened in just over one year since he’s been police chief usually happen in a long career of someone as a police chief,” said Cory Session, the Vice President of The Innocence Project of Texas. Session has worked closely with Kraus over the years. He told CBS 11 that a stand-out moment, when Chief Kraus knelt and prayed with protestors, was met with some pushback within the department.

“Ed is at a point where it didn’t really matter if he became police chief or not, before all of this,” Session said. “He was close to retirement, and I wouldn’t blame him if that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Mayor Betsy Price said a nationwide search for a replacement will now begin.

“Ed always says he’s a servant first, and a warrior second and he wants the officers to think that way,” Mayor Price said. “I think that’s a powerful mindset to think of when you’re working in the community.”

Mayor Price said the chief’s retirement is a loss for the city, and they’re determined to find a candidate to finish what he started.

“We’re looking for a candidate that can build on the foundation that Ed has left us,” she said. “He’s built a great unit, a great executive team, he started on the transparency, accountability for his officers and additional trainings, and a lot of community outreach.”

Session told us the most important qualities for the job are integrity and a willingness to hold officers accountable.

“I feel so blessed to have served our community with you over the past 28 years,” Chief Kraus said in a statement. “I will forever have fond memories of this department, our accomplishments, and especially the relationships shared.”