Ottawa police chief Vern White said while he's sad to be leaving the force, he's ready for the new challenges that will come when he takes his seat in the Senate later this month.

In an interview with CTV Ottawa's Graham Richardson, White was asked what's been going through his mind over the last few weeks.

"Probably sadness more than anything else," he said. "Almost 31 years I've been a police officer."

Of all the time he spent with the RCMP, Durham police and in Ottawa, White said the Stacey Bonds incident was one of the toughest of the career.

"It hurts me when all the good things done by the large mass is missed by one specific incidence," he said, referring to the sexual assault charge for one of his officers after they cut the bra off a female prisoner in 2009.

"People say you have to be thick-skinned to be a chief, well I'm not very good at that because I'm not thick-skinned."

White was named to the Senate Jan. 6 and will begin on Feb. 20.

The 52-year-old previously said he didn't anticipate being in the Senate until the mandatory retirement age of 75.

In the interview, White didn't speculate on his future after rumours he's considering running for office after finishing as a senator.

"I'm taking this position to be a senator for a nine year commitment," he said. "You know, I do try to focus on the today, not the tomorrow."

Graham's full interview with Vern White runs Saturday during the News at 6.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Ellen Mauro