Camden County Police Chief Joseph Wysocki will retire at the end of this year after three decades in which he rose through the ranks to become head of the police force, the department announced Tuesday.

Wysocki, 50, will be entering the private sector. Capt. Gabriel Rodriguez, who has served as Wysocki’s executive officer, will assume command Jan. 1.

Wysocki became police chief on Sept. 1, 2019, after longtime Chief Scott Thomson, who oversaw the transition of the department from Camden City to county control in 2013, retired.

In announcing Wysocki’s retirement, Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said in a statement: “People know that statistics only tell part of Camden’s story, but the real evidence of Joe’s impact is the fact that children are back playing in Camden’s streets and there’s a new spirit of cooperation between the police and the community. He’s kept pushing the limits in de-escalation and training and every day came to the police administration building to make the city a safer place.”

Overall, violent crime has dropped in Camden since 2012, when the city experienced a record 67 homicides. Last year, the city had 25 homicides and has had 22 so far this year.

Wysocki has been praised for his community policing efforts, locking arms and marching with activists, clergy, and other protesters in Camden after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck in May, killing him.

Sister Helen Cole of Guadalupe Family Services; Sheilah Greene, a member of the Parkside Business and Community in Partnership; and Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, also lauded Wysocki for his community engagement.

Wysocki served in uniformed and investigative assignments. While he was supervisor of a unit overseeing investigations into high-intensity drug-trafficking areas, several violent crime organizations were dismantled, the department said. He served as Internal Affairs commander and assistant chief under Thomson.

“I know that none of the department’s success could occur without the help of our community. They have played a pivotal role in the turnaround of this great city,” said Wysocki, who will work at the Lawmen Supply Co. in Pennsauken.