Chief Const. Bob Rich (middle) gives a final salute as Abbotsford’s top cop, making way for incoming chief Mike Serr, standing alongside Rich, who’s last day at the helm is Sept. 30. A changing of the guard ceremony was held at Thunderbird Memorial Square Thursday morning. James Inglis/Submitted photo

Chief Const. Bob Rich (middle) gives a final salute as Abbotsford’s top cop, making way for incoming chief Mike Serr, standing alongside Rich, who’s last day at the helm is Sept. 30. A changing of the guard ceremony was held at Thunderbird Memorial Square Thursday morning. James Inglis/Submitted photo

WATCH: A final salute for outgoing Abbotsford police chief Bob Rich

Changing of the guard ceremony held in Thunderbird Memorial Square Thursday morning

The Abbotsford Police Department held a ceremony Thursday marking the end of an era.

Chief Const. Bob Rich announced his retirement earlier this year, with his final day on duty set for Sept. 30, a week from Sunday. On Thursday, the papers were signed and Rich’s retirement finalized — along with confirmation of incoming top cop Mike Serr.

Rich’s term at the helm of the department was largely characterized by a cheerful, outgoing chief, familiar in the community. However, in two of his final years he led the force through a pair of tragedies, acts of violence that shook the community — a stabbing at Abbotsford Secondary School two years ago, followed by the death of Const. John Davidson.

Serr, who has been with the APD since 2015 after 26 years with the Vancouver Police Department, will take over the force as of Oct. 1.

At a ceremony Thursday morning at the Thunderbird Memorial Square, Mayor Henry Braun received the ceremonial sword from outgoing chief Rich and passed the sword to Serr, “and thus at the same time entrust the command of the Abbotsford Police Department over to him.”

“I know that when it comes to fighting crime and to building a strong police department in the city of Abbotsford, you have used every tool possible. You have left no stone unturned,” Braun said at the ceremony of of Rich, who in turn gave advice to the APD and its officers as they move forward.

“Carpe diem. Seize the day,” Rich said, speaking of acting on bold ambitions.

Incoming chief Serr told those in attendance that he was “proud” of each of the officers working for the APD.

“With your passion and your energy, I am confident that together we are going to make a difference.”

Two top position fillings were also confirmed this week, including new Deputy Chief Crosby Jones and Inspector Vinet.

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.