A big sendoff for Windsor's police chief.

Dozens of people attended a public open house at the Police Training Centre on Sandwich Street on Tuesday for Al Frederick, who is set to retire after 35 years of service.

“I've had the joy of like working with the very best and I'm going to miss that,” said Frederick.

Frederick says one of the biggest changes during his time is the conversion from analog to digital radios, which protects both officers and the public.

Frederick says he will also never forget the day John Atkinson was killed.  Constable Atkinson was shot and killed during a drug investigation outside an east Windsor convenience store on May 5, 2006.

Frederick became the city’s top cop in 2012.

“You don't expect to be Chief of Police when you walk through the doors and I tell you I've been blessed,” says Frederick. “I have the best team I think in Ontario, we have amazing support from our community. It's truly amazing.”

The job has never been easy for the chief.

Frederick led the department most recently through a spike in crime in 2018, when there were ten murder investigations. The police chief also had to respond to questions about a 911 call to his home in November 2018 as well as a number of human rights complaints against the police department.  

But Frederick tells CTV News some of the biggest challenges he has faced on the job include the mental health and addictions crisis.

The chief has been reluctant to allow his officers to carry naloxone kits and has voiced his opposition against safe injection sites.

Frederick says those issues will have to be addressed by his replacement, after he retires on June 30.

Frederick was scheduled to retire in January 2018, but delayed his plans after the City of Windsor submitted a bid to take over policing in the Town of Amherstburg.

After retirement, Frederick says he plans to do more volunteer work and spend more time with family.