Little Falls Police Chief, Michael Masi, worked his way up the ranks from patrol to sergeant in 1997, assistant chief in 2004, and chief in 2008. There's only one step left to take, and that happens Friday: retirement.
"I really want to go back to things that I enjoy doing and the two most favorite things in my career are investigation and training so I'm gonna pursue those things," said Masi, from his office, Wednesday, surrounded by piles and piles of history, as he cleared out his office.
While he'll no longer be responsible for fighting crime in Little Falls, Chief Masi will stay in the fight by training new crime fighters, as head of the police academy at Herkimer College; a position he undertook beginning this past September.
"It just comes to a point where you come to work and you just feel you could do so much more and pursue things you really enjoy more and that's kind of where I'm at. Nothing negative, nothing bad," says Masi.
The outgoing chief leaves a different department...a different city....from the ones he encountered when he first came on the job 27 years ago.
"Lot of the street fighting, that type of stuff. Today, it's a lot more drugs. The heroin epidemic. There's not a community not touched by that. You see a lot of families and people torn apart because of that," said Masi.
Assistant Chief, Ronald Petrie, will take over as interim chief until April, when the police and fire board will name a permanent replacement. Chief Masi's advice for his successor:
"Accountability. We're in a day and age where police officers are held just all that more accountable, as they should be. Maintain the training and maintain the integrity of the personnel you hire."