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Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera announces retirement

Rivera has been chief for 25 years.

Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer called a news conference Friday morning for what was expected to be his final farewell before his resignation.

But another Lorain public figure also revealed his departure, as Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera announced his retirement.

Rivera has been police chief for 25 years and is turning 70 in December.

"It's time to let it go, and I wanted it to be with Mayor Ritenauer, because for the last 7 1/2 years, we've been blessed to have his support and his friendship," Rivera said.

Rivera said he'll stay up until Dec. 31 this year to complete some projects he has started and to help the new chief transition into his role.

"When that's done, I'll just go and kind of quietly disappear," Rivera said. "It's been the greatest honor and privilege for me to wear the blue and grey for the last 49 years, and to wear the badge of a Lorain police officer and work with the best cops in the state of Ohio."

Ritenauer, whose resignation takes effect Friday at 11:59 p.m., called Rivera an "institution in this city."

"Cel has been, I think, more than just a police chief. He's active in our community, he fights for all the right things on all levels and he's really the pulse of this community in many ways," Ritenauer said.

RELATED: Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer holds final news conference before resignation

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