NORTH AUGUSTA, SC. (WJBF) – The longtime captain of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety is retiring after more than 4 decades in charge.

Captain Billy Luckey has been with the department for nearly 43 years, serving under six mayors and four chiefs of police. But perhaps one of the best parts is, the man to replace him is someone who’s known him for most of his life. 

“This is where he’s been for the last 42 and half years, always trying to make a difference and trying to make sure North Augusta’s a great place to live,” said new patrol captain Junior Johnson.

He’s worked with the department for the last 21 years, but he actually first met him at the age of 10.

“When I was younger, I was helping my dad–he was an electrician–and he actually came down here to do some work in this building. And that was when I first met Captain Luckey in the same office that he’s currently leaving from,” said Johnson.

But now that the veteran is stepping down, the new captain has two main goals in mind.

“#1 is to make sure the citizens get the best service possible. To make sure the police officers get out there and interact with them in the community, and not just be an enforcement arm. The second part of that is with the officers that are working here. It’s very important that we take their needs–they’re all human beings, they have families–that their personal needs are valued as much as our needs,” said Johnson.

In a statement, Captain Luckey says, “I’ve been thankful to be able to serve the citizens of North Augusta for the last 42 and a half years. It has been an honor to serve alongside the great men and women who have worked in public safety over the years.”

The big picture for Captain Johnson is to continue the legacy of excellence that Luckey has started.

His tenure as the new captain begins tomorrow.