BERN TWP., Pa. -

A 40-year career has come to a close for the warden of the Berks County Jail.

George Wagner announced his retirement, effective Friday, according to a joint statement released by the Berks County commissioners and the county's prison board.

Wagner began his career as a correctional officer at the jail in 1974, but he spent most of the last 40 years as the warden.

"During his distinguished career, Warden Wagner presided over modernization of the county jail and countless prison labor community service projects benefiting the county, numerous municipalities and other organizations," according to the county's statement. "He was the driving force behind the county’s innovative Community Reentry Center, a facility that successfully reduced recidivism by preparing inmates for post-incarceration life with employment training, substance abuse counseling and stable housing."

The commissioners and the prison board said they commend Wagner for his many accomplishments and wish him well in his future endeavors.

69 News reached out to the commissioners and the county's chief operating officer for direct comment, but none returned calls Friday.

Wagner has also played an active role in the annual Reading Fair, which takes place near the jail.