Oklahoma City police Chief Bill Citty announced he will retire from the department. 

Citty announced his retirement during a news conference Thursday morning, and at times, became emotional when talking about leaving the department. 

Citty has been Oklahoma City’s police chief since October 2003. He started his career at the department in 1977.

The police chief is retiring effective May 2, according to Oklahoma City officials.

In a letter to City Manager Craig Freeman, Citty said his 40 years at the Oklahoma City Police Department provided him "the means to work and live my life in an honorable and meaningful way."

"There has never been a day in the last 40 years I haven't been proud to work beside the men and women of the Oklahoma City Police Department and the City of Oklahoma City," Citty said.

Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police President John George released the following statement: 

“As the longest-serving police chief for Oklahoma City, we appreciate Chief Citty’s commitment to our community and department. Chief Citty built bridges throughout the city, promoted diversity and inclusion within the ranks and maintained the public’s trust during challenging times for police. We wish him the best in his upcoming retirement and look forward to the next chapter for the Oklahoma City Police Department.”

Recently, Citty and the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police were at odds when Citty was accused of an ethics violation for reportedly retaliating against four deputy chiefs.

The FOP said the four deputy chiefs met with the chief to discuss overtime pay they thought they were owed.

Freeman will hire the police chief who reports to one of the three assistant city managers.