Portland police Chief Michael Sauschuck answers questions in this 2017 file photo. Sauschuck will leave the Portland Police Department on July 20 to assume post as assistant city manager for Portland. Credit: Jake Bleiberg

Portland’s police chief will leave his post with Maine’s largest local police force for a job in the city’s management, officials announced Thursday.

Michael Sauschuck will move to one of two assistant city manager jobs after more than 20 years with the department. In August, he will join Mona Bector in working with City Manager Jon Jennings on overseeing municipal operations and government, and carrying out the priorities of the City Council.

Sauschuck will depart the police force he has led since 2012 on July 20, a city spokeswoman said.

He will be replaced in the interim by Assistant Police Chief Vern Malloch, according to city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin. There is no process in place to hire a new permanent chief, Jennings said in an email.

The manager said he has “complete confidence” in Malloch, and the pair will “discuss the future over the next several months and that will help determine any process in the future.”

Jennings praised Sauschuck’s tenure with the police department in a written statement, saying that his leadership will “continue making municipal government more streamlined and efficient.”

In a statement, Sauschuck called his colleagues at the police department “family” and said leaving the force was an “incredibly difficult decision”.

The departing chief said he is excited for the challenges of the new job, in which he will earn $140,000 annually. As of 2016, Sauschuck’s salary as chief was a bit over $116,000, according to the city payroll.

Sauschuck came to the Portland Police Department from the U.S. Marines in 1997 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in criminology from the University of Southern Maine. He served in a variety of roles on the police force and was promoted to department commander in 2009 and assistant chief in 2010 before taking up the top job.

In 2015, Sauschuck served as acting city manager before Jennings was hired.

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