RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia’s Capitol Police chief has announced that he will retire at the end of the year.

Col. Anthony S. Pike, 57, is one of the longest-serving chiefs in Capitol Police history — a history that dates back to 1618 and is recognized as the oldest law enforcement agency in the United States.

(Courtesy of Virginia’s Division of Capitol Police)

Pike joined the Capitol Police as the agency’s assistant chief in 2010 and became chief the following year.

Since 2011, the Virginia Capitol Police have provided law enforcement for nearly 700 rallies, protests and events in the Capitol Square area — sometimes drawing in more than 20,000 people.

“Colonel Pike has not only served the Capitol Police well but the Commonwealth in his many years of service,” said Sen. Mamie Locke, chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee and a member of the Legislative Support Commission. “He has done an amazing job leading through the pandemic and some difficult times, and he has done so extremely well. I am proud to know him and wish him well in retirement.”

According to a Capitol Police statement, Pike oversaw significant upgrades in the division’s technology and training. Earlier this year, Capitol Police were fully certified for the fourth time by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission. Less than 20% of Virginia law enforcement agencies are fully certified.

“I became a grandfather last week for the first time,” Pike said. “And the months leading up to it gave me time to reflect on my life and what’s ahead for me. Just as I can sincerely say it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to spend my career in service to others, I can honestly say I’ve realized it’s time to transition to a private citizen.”