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Ferguson announces retirement

Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney C. Phillips “Phil” Ferguson announced this week he plans to retire at the end of the year.

Ferguson told his staff of his decision in a meeting Monday, he confirmed to the Suffolk News-Herald on Tuesday morning. He said he wanted to make the announcement in time for those who may be planning to run for the seat in the November election to have plenty of time to get on the ballot.

“I do want to thank the people of Suffolk for giving me the opportunity to have served them,” Ferguson said.

At the end of this year, Ferguson, who is 71 years old now, will have been Suffolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney for 44 years. His first job straight out of law school was as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Suffolk, a job he held for only three and a half years before running for election.

“My primary focus the whole time I have been here is to serve the people of Suffolk to the best of my ability and make sure that people were safe and secure within their community,” he stated.

He touted Suffolk’s low homicide rate per capita — which he attributed to a relentless focus on eliminating gang activity — as well as the office’s community outreach as two of his biggest accomplishments.

“We have tried to help and tried to prevent crimes from occurring, and we’ve tried to educate the public so they would not become victims of crimes,” he said. “Our attempts have been to prevent and educate first, and then if a crime occurs, obviously we prosecute.”

Ferguson also extended his thanks to the people who work with him.

“I could not have done this by myself in any way,” he said. “I want to recognize the great people I work with in this office. They’re professionals, and they do a terrific job.”

Ferguson declined to endorse anybody in the race to replace him at this point in time, saying it would be inappropriate to do so before he knows everybody who is running.