WITN-7 news has confirmed Washington Police chief Joe Stringer is leaving the force. Chief Stringer, who's been with the department for 24 years, says he is pursuing a medical retirement. His last day will be October 31st. Stringer says his decision to leave is something he's been considering for the past year. He says physical issues have caused him to question his ability in law enforcement. He also says his decision is not based on anything going on within the department, including the arrest of an officer accused of targeting Hispanics during traffic stops and robbing them. Stringer says he'd like to serve the Washington Community in another capacity, possibly with the Beaufort County School system. City manager Jim Smith says Major Sandy Blizzard will act as interim chief. Smith says recruiting nationally in search of a new chief is likely.