After six years as Chief of Police for the city of Atlanta, George Turner will retire at the end of the year. A source close to the situation confirms the city will be searching for a new leader for 2017.

Vince Champion, IBPO Southeast Regional Direction for the police union said his eyes are on the future.

"Chief Turner has had a long and distinguished career with the Atlanta Police department, and we wish him the best in his retirement," he said. "We are looking forward to working with the new Chief and command staff to move the agency forward in a positive manner for both the community and the Officers that protect them."

MORE | 11Alive speaks 1-on-1 with Chief Turner

Turner has been an Atlanta police officer for 35 years. He was appointed interim chief on January 4, 2010 by Mayor Kasim Reed after Chief Richard Pennington resigned. Pennington's resignation came as the department was under scrutiny following the fatal shooting of Kathryn Johnston. Months after Pennington's resignation, the Johnston family was awarded $4.9 million in a settlement.

During this term, Turner worked to build the size of the department to 2,000 sworn officers and rebuild trust. He annouced goals to target gang violence, alleviate aggressive panhandling, and enhance police recruitment efforts.

Mayor Kasim Reed said the city has made significant progress in making the city safer under Turner's tenure.

“Since his appointment as Police Chief six years ago, George Turner has served as a vital member of my cabinet,” said Mayor Reed. “Under his leadership, we have made significant progress toward our goal of making Atlanta one of the safest large cities in America. As he prepares to embark on the next chapter of his career, I want to extend my best wishes and deep appreciation for his unwavering commitment to the residents of Atlanta.”