WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Barry D. Rountree, the city's chief of police since 2013, announced Tuesday he will retire September 1, after serving the citizens for almost 30 years. 

In a release, Rountree said, "I have had a very rewarding career. I have been able to serve in nearly every sworn position in the department, and now it is time to turn the reins over to the next generation of leadership."

Rountree began his career as a police officer back in 1988, and later promoted to senior police officer, or corporal in 1992, sergeant in 1996, a lieutenant in 2000, captain in 2004, and assistant police chief in 2007, according to police. Over the years, he has served in the Field Services Bureau, the Investigative Services Bureau, the Support Services Bureau, and the Professional Standards Division. 

In his thirty years on the force, Rountree says he has been blessed to have served without any serious injuries, and says during his career, "I have seen eight coworkers lose their lives while serving. They are a constant reminder to all police officers of the risks they take to ensure the public safety."

Rountree also said he is most proud of trying to make the Winston-Salem Police Department better for employees, and for improving service delivery to the citizens. 

Officials say the city manager Lee Garrity will begin the process to select the next chief by talking with the mayor, members of the City Council, police employees, and community leaders.