South Tucson Police Chief Richard Muñoz is retiring Friday after more than three decades in law enforcement.

The incoming police chief is William Lackey, who retired from the Arizona Department of Corrections and was hired by the Police Department in 2001.

Muñoz began working for South Tucson police as an officer in 2002 after he retired from the Tucson Police Department.

He was promoted to sergeant six months later and remained with the department until July 2007, leaving to work for the county. He returned to the Police Department in January 2008 and was appointed interim police chief in August 2009, and soon after was named police chief, said City Manager Enrique Serna.

"South Tucson has been more of a family, and my time here was an eye-opening experience," said Muñoz. "It would have been very difficult without all the help I received from Deputy Chief Richard Vidaurri and City Manager Serna."

Muñoz, 62, was paid an annual salary of $58,700.

Muñoz said he plans to spend more time with his family and his granddaughters.

Lackey, 56, retired from the Department of Corrections as a chief investigator and was hired as a reserve officer for South Tucson Police Department 12 years ago, and later became a detective, Serna said.

"He has a unique talent in his ability to communicate with people," said Serna, describing the skill as a plus for the top cop in the department.

Lackey's annual salary is $50,000 and he will earn $58,667 as police chief.

The police department's annual budget is $2 million. The department employs 26 certified officers and four civilian employees.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at 573-4104 or