MARS — Members of borough council recognized retiring Police Chief Kevin Radford Monday night.
Radford, who has been chief for 20 years, is retiring in December. He received a plaque and award for his years of service.
“The challenges you faced were met and exceeded,” said Mayor Gregg Hartung. “Your community priorities were integral.”
Hartung said Radford's professionalism both kept the public safe and inspired community spirit. Hartung said Radford was an example of American sacrifice and duty.
“That's how we become more fully American,” Hartung said. “That's the essence of our liberty — that we give back.”
Radford, who lives in Beaver County, told the Eagle he has been a police officer for 45 years. Radford said he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, who was a policeman in Philadelphia.
“I've always liked to help people,” Radford said.
“The Andy Griffith Show” was an inspiration for him growing up. Radford said he always has admired the way Andy Taylor kept peace in his hometown without carrying a gun.
“He found a creative way to fix problems,” Radford said.
He added his wife, Lynn, calls him “Andy with a Gun.”
Officer Beau Sneddon will be acting officer-in-charge in the wake of Radford's retirement. Sneddon's position will be part time. Sneddon has known Radford for 20 years and worked with him for 10.
“It's just going to be different,” Sneddon said.
“We're all going to miss him,” said Andra Schmid, a Mars police officer.
Radford officially leaves Mars Borough on Dec. 31. But he's not leaving policing. He will be taking a position with the police department in Bridgewater, where he lives.
Radford said there's something he's going to miss about Mars.
“The people,” Radford said. “And the town.”