TROY, N.Y. -- Chief John Tedesco says it was never his dream to become a police officer. He had been laid off from a local shipyard and thought he would stay with the police department for 20 years.

More than four decades later, he says he didn't know what he was getting himself into.

Tedesco began as a patrol officer in 1976. On Friday, he will walk out of his station for the last time, as he officially retires from the job.

"When you look back on it, this has really been probably the greatest show on Earth for me, the way it turned out," Tedesco said.

It’s a career that hasn’t been without its controversies. Between 2015 and 2016, Tedesco led his department through two police-involved shootings, and in recent weeks, the deaths of a family of four.

"That was probably one of the most difficult things that I will always remember with my career, and I'll certainly follow it closely," Tedesco said of the quadruple homicide.

The chief has ALS, but says that isn't the only reason he's retiring, and he's getting ready to start a new foundation, Arrest ALS. The goal is to help others who may not have the financial means to pay for equipment.

Once Tedesco walks out the door Friday, he's heading to Florida to spend more time with family, his pets and a good cigar.