WALLA WALLA -- Longtime Walla Walla Police Chief Chuck Fulton has announced he is retiring next year after what will be 28 1/2 years at the helm of the department.
Fulton, 63, will step down March 31, 2012, allowing the city sufficient time to go through the process of choosing a successor, he said.
Fulton has been with the department for nearly 42 years, starting his career in September 1969. He was appointed captain in 1980 and became chief in August 1983 after A.L. "Bert" Watts retired.
Fulton's retirement comes as no surprise. He has made it known in the community he planned to step down after completion of the new police station under construction on Moore Street. The facility is scheduled to open around the first of next year.
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When Fulton retires, he and Watts -- who died in 2006 -- will have served as police chiefs in Walla Walla for a combined total of more than 60 years.
Referring to his long career, Fulton gave credit this morning to staff members.
"It's not because of me, but because of the men and women in the department," he said. "They've made it pretty easy."