Police and town employees gathered to honor outgoing Police Chief Edward Nolan Monday morning at the .
"It's been like a roller coaster," said Nolan of his 42-year career.
Nolan served the last five years as chief. He credits the good relationships between him and fellow officers that steered the town in the right direction, even in the face of natural disasters, sudden tragedy and economic downturns.
"I've grown to enjoy working with the town and the community," said Nolan. "And seeing it grow and build on its traditions."
The town agrees that the police chief's work has added to the community.
"He's unflappable," said North Reading's Emergency Management Director, Theo Kuliopulos.
Town Clerk Barbara Stats said, "He always approached things very methodically and professionally. I think that's what will stand out about him."
Nolan's fellow officers all stood in attention for the outgoing chief, each one shaking his hand, some with tears in their eyes.
"He had great character, and a great expertise," said incoming Police Chief Mike Murphy. "Although we will lose his forty plus years of experience, he helped transfer that to the men underneath him."
Murphy will be .