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Genesee County's sheriff said Wednesday he is retiring after 20 years.

Sheriff Robert Pickell made the announcement on his Facebook page.

"The greatest professional privilege of my lifetime has been serving each of you as your Sheriff for the past 20 years," he wrote in his post. "While I will always serve you in whatever manner possible, this morning I announced that it is time to begin the next chapter of my life. I will be retiring as Genesee County Sheriff, effective January 5, 2020."

Pickell also mentioned his accomplishments as sheriff and how proud he is of the men and women who worked under him.

"Since I took office, the Genesee County Sheriff’s office has been revolutionized and revitalized into one that uses cutting edge technology, efficient resources, and unparalleled talent to protect and serve," he said. "Whether it is our Paramedic Division, our first of its kind Elder Abuse Task Force, jail operations and work detail, our newly-formed human trafficking operation, or simply the dedication to community outreach and partnership, the road map to a safe and vibrant Genesee County is clear and unbreakable due to the men and women in uniform who serve in my office each day."

He said retirement was a tough decision to make, but he looks forward to spending time with his family.

"I am looking forward to family, travel, and spending time with great friends," he wrote. "My grandchildren who live out of state will see their grandpa a lot more often."

Pickell was sworn in as Genesee County Sheriff in 1999, according to the office's official web site. He has more than 45 years of experience in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. He also worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for five years.

He has also been a high school teacher and worked for the Genesee County Posecuting Attorney's Office

Earlier this year, Pickell said his office's division for fighting human trafficking snared more than 30 suspects accused of soliciting sex with children in his county. He said in June the task force arrested 22 and last week said it nabbed 12 more.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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