BONHAM, Texas (KTEN) — Bonham police chief Mike Bankston will be hanging up his badge at the end of March, ending nearly 40 years as the city's top cop.

"I've been blessed, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with outstanding people... not only in the police department, but the entire city,"  Bankston said. 

Bankston began his career with the department in 1973. After serving for three years, he began to work in other agencies. 

But in 1979, he returned to the Bonham Police Department. 

"I was appointed chief on May the first in 1984; I have been here since then," Bankston said.

He considers helping people to have been among his greatest accomplishments. 

"If you had somebody that you helped along the way to go on to be a very successful career helping others, and to help the people, that's probably one of the most rewarding things," Bankston said. 

Tuesday, March 28 will be his final day as chief. 

City Manager Sean Pate said they hope to hire a new leader for the police department in the coming weeks. 

"We had a panel that was created, they serve as a committee," Pate said. "They interviewed 10 people and they narrowed it down to three candidates that they would like to recommend to my office for as finalist."

Bankston plans to enjoy retirement on his Fannin County farm with his family.