FORT SMITH ( KFSM) -- Fort Smith Major Dean Pitts announced his retirement from the force on Tuesday (May 30) after 26 years.
"If you'll remember last year when I took over as police chief, a lot of people interviewed me and said, 'Why didn't you apply for the chief?' and I said, 'You know - I've ran my course.' I have six beautiful grandchildren and three beautiful daughters. I'm ready to spend some time with my family," Pitts said as he addressed a room full of friends, family and fellow officers.
Pitts began his career in the Fort Smith Police Department as a patrol sergeant in 1991. He served on the Fort Smith S.W.A.T team as a sniper and in 1996 Pitts became a sergeant with the criminal investigation division.
He became the assistant commander of S.W.A.T. in 1998 and was promoted to captain in 1999.
He continued to climb the ranks and was ultimately promoted to major.
After accepting many awards and honors from the local law enforcement community, Pitts addressed his fellow officers.
"Things are going to continue to change. All I can do is leave you with this. Let the past go because it's gone. We are in a different age now. Everything has changed. Now, we have to accept the present. As we move forward let's look forward to what the future is going to bring for us," Pitts said.