TORONTO - Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Chris Lewis is retiring from the force after a 35-year career.

Lewis will be stepping down on March 28.

He joined the provincial police in 1978, beginning his career as a provincial constable in Kapuskasing.

He was appointed commissioner in August 2010.

The provincial government announced Lewis's retirement today, saying he has served across the province in a variety of front-line, specialized and management positions.

It says Lewis is the first police officer to have been awarded all three levels of the Canadian Order of Merit of the Police Forces, presented by three successive Governors General.