SHAMOKIN - Wednesday was a bittersweet day for Shamokin Police Chief Edward Griffiths who retired after 22 years of dedicated service on the force.

The 53-year-old chief, who also held the positions of patrolman, narcotics investigator and corporal during his career, was the guest of honor at a luncheon at Shamokin Police Station attended by current and former city officers, government officials and law enforcement authorities from neighboring communities.

"This is a tough and bittersweet day for me," Griffiths commented during a brief interview in his office. "My wife, Kayleen, sister Kelly Jacobs and other family members have made it a lot easier for me to get through this."

With his retirement, Griffiths plans to spend more time with his family and to go fishing and camping with friends.

Griffiths thanked his family and all the officers and city officials he has worked with through the years and especially praised the residents of Shamokin for providing him and his family with a good living.

He'll miss serving the public on an every day basis, but plans to stay active with a community Crime Watch program he organized and serving as a longtime member of Shamokin Area School Board. He also is involved with several other community groups and has been a PIAA basketball officials for 30 years.

Griffiths had nothing but praise for his successor Cpl. Darwin Tobias III, who will officially take over the chief duties today.

"I'm very proud of Dar," Griffiths said. "He's a great policeman and the city is in good hands with him as chief."

Tobias, 33, who was appointed chief by Mayor William Milbrand on Monday, is beginning his 14th year with the department.

He will earn a salary of $60,000 and medical benefits. Griffiths' salary was $63,000.

As a promise to his 14-year-old daughter, Kiera, Griffiths closed his remarks by stating, "Justice is served."