Halifax Regional police Chief Frank Beazley announced his retirement Monday at a meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners, to take effect Sept. 30.

"After 42 years in policing, I've decided to retire. I've had a wonderful 42 years with HRM. It's a career I would do over again in the blink of any eye," he told the board. "It's been a privilege to work for you."

Beazley, who has been chief since 2003, said he has been in discussion with Chief Administrative Officer Richard Butts about his retirement.

"I look forward to the next few months as we select a new chief, and I'm also looking forward to retirement," he said.

Mayor Peter Kelly said the region will miss Beazley.

"It’s always hard to say good bye to someone who has been a pillar of leadership and respect in our community, but we recognize that the demands of public service must eventually end to allow us to commit to personal priorities," Kelly said in  a release.

"Chief Beazley’s career exemplifies dedication to the greater good of our broader community, and on behalf of council, we greatly appreciate his guidance and many accomplishments as chief of police."

Beazley began his career in April 1970 as a uniformed beat officer with the Halifax Police Department, where he steadily moved up through the ranks.

He took an active role with the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

Beazley said he is very proud of the people behind the force and their service, and he has every confidence in the future of police services in HRM.

A national recruitment effort for a new chief of the region’s 522-member police force will begin immediately, with the intention of having someone in place before Beazley retires.