Al Lamberti, who became the first Broward sheriff to have risen through the ranks of the agency, said the end of his tenure feels strange and bittersweet.
Al Lamberti spent his last day as Broward sheriff on Monday paying tribute to a retiring colleague.
"It's about the 6,000 men and women who came to work here every day. It's not about me," he said.
But for the last five years, it has been about Lamberti. That ends on Tuesday.
"And 35 years with the agency, I've spent more than half my life at the Broward Sheriff's Office," he said. "It does, it does feel strange, It's gonna be bittersweet. Tomorrow morning when I get up and don't have a uniform to put on, I think that's really gonna be when it hits me."
As sheriff, Lamberti was extremely visible, whether it was at a crime scene or deputy's funeral. He took office after a scandal, becoming the first Broward sheriff to have risen through the ranks of the agency. He said he considers that fact to be his most important legacy.
"I think that is an inspiration, and it gives other people ambition that if you work hard, you do the right thing, you have integrity, you can do it," Lamberti said.
He added that some of his previous positions with the office were more fun than heading it.
"Well probably the other positions because you're out on the street where the rubber meets the road. You know I've served at every rank. I've done just about everything," he said.
Lamberti considers the crackdown on pill mills to be his agency's biggest accomplishment during his tenure.
"That was killing our kids. It was destroying neighborhoods because the crime rate skyrocketed in neighborhoods around these pill mills," he said.
"It always sounds corny, 'I want to spend more time with my family,' but I really want to. This job is a tremendous sacrifice on your time," he said.