“It’s a big moment after nearly 40 years,” he told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.
The official announcement comes one day it was confirmed that Caron was leaving his role earlier than anticipated.
His mandate with the SPVM was set to end in December 2023, but Caron said he told the city’s general manager last December he was ready to retire.
The decision was difficult to make, he said, but he decided it was time to “take care of myself and my loved ones.”
Caron said he had the privilege of leading an exceptional team during his four years with the force, and he thanked members of the police department for their service.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante thanked Caron for his work, saying his role was “day and night, 24 hours a day.” The police chief adapted to changing situations and deserves a good retirement, she added.
“I want to say the extent of which he leaves a police department in order,” Plante said.
Caron, a former Sûreté du Québec police officer, was tapped as police chief in 2018. He was appointed following a damning report into Montreal police’s internal affairs.
Before he joined Montreal police, he had more than 35 years of experience in the field, including 20 years in management. In 1981, he joined the Sorel-Tracy municipal police department and served as director from 1997 until 2002.
Caron also served in administrative positions at the Sûreté du Québec until his retirement in March 2018.
“This is the real one,” he said Tuesday, referring to his retirement.
Caron will stay on as police chief for the next few weeks. His last day will be April 22.
The City of Montreal says it will begin looking for a new police chief in the coming weeks, with the hopes of finding Caron’s successor by the summer.
In the meantime, the city is expected to name an acting police chief before Caron’s departure.
— with files from Global News’ Annabelle Olivier, Tim Sargeant and The Canadian Press