ST. CLAIRSVILLE Police Chief Martin Kendzora announced his intention to retire after 48 years of service dedicated to upholding the law and ensuring the safety of the citizens.
He was appointed chief in 1975 upon the retirement of Chief Thomas Minder. He made his announcement during Monday's meeting of city council.
"I have been blessed to have worked with supportive council members and Mayor (Robert) Vincenzo. I can't thank the mayor enough for his support and backing he has given me over the years," he said, adding that he credited the accomplishments of the police department with the quality of the officers.
Kendzora said he has endeavored to live up to the standards set by Minder when he took the helm of the department.
"I have always tried to be fair and accurate. I have always tried to live up to the objectives of this profession," he said. "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."
Mayor 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," he 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."
"You've surely earned everyone's respect," said Council Member Terry Pugh. "I can't say 'thank you' enough for your service to the city of St. Clairsville."
"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 Council Member Perry Jones. "Your shoes will be very difficult to fill."
"Thank you for all your years of selfless service," said Council Member Libby Heintzelmen.
"Chief Martin will be missed. Thank you for all your service," said Council Member Frank Sabatino.
"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 it's 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 the dedication to maintaining the city. Representatives from departments present at the council meeting thanked Kendzora for his reliable support.
His final projected day is June 28. Upon retiring, Kendzora plans to enjoy spending time with family.
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