The public face of the Somerville Police Department, Deputy Chief Paul Upton, is retiring from the department at the end of September.
If you've ever read an article or watched a TV news segment about crime and police work in Somerville, chances are it was Upton who was doing the talking. Among his other duties, Upton was the public information officer for the department.
The deputy chief served for 30 years on the department, starting out as a patrolman and working his way through the ranks. He attended the FBI National Academy and became a deputy chief in 2008.
During a ceremony Thursday in which the Board of Aldermen and mayor issued a citation to Upton for his service, Mayor Joseph Curtatone said Upton "helped foster a transformation in the police department" and "he's been an incredible part of this community for a long time."
The mayor called Upton a "role model" for other officers.
In remarks, Upton said he joined the police force in 1983 because "I wanted to help people."
"It's been a wonderful ride; I wish it didn't have to end," he said.
The deputy chief added, "I hope in some small way I made a difference."