A news release issued by the City of Grand Rapids on Tuesday announced that Police Chief Kevin Belk will be retiring after serving the city for nearly 34 years.

Belk will end his service with Grand Rapids Police Department on Feb. 7.

Belk joined the GRPD in 1980 as a patrol officer. He became an investigator only two years later. Belk was promoted to sergeant in 1988, investigative supervisor in 1989 and deputy commander of the detective unit in 1993. Belk became captain in 1996 and served as commander of the Investigative Division until 2003.

When the previous police chief, Harry Dolan, retired in 2007, Belk was named Acting Police Chief. He got the job full-time in 2008.

In the news release, City Manager Greg Sundstrom spoke of Belk's service to the city:

Chief Belk has served in the Grand Rapids Police Department with honor and integrity. His exceptional leadership has led the Police Department into a highly-respected and professional department.

Of his time with GRPD, Belk said:

It has been a tremendous honor for me having been able to serve as a Grand Rapids Police Officer since May 27, 1980. Since that time, I have had the privilege of working with the finest people that anyone could meet. The men and women of the Grand Rapids Police Department are very dedicated and caring public servants who have committed their lives to the safety and security of the community.

Belk has been asked to continue serving a chief until his replacement is selected.