Portland Police Chief Frank Clark, pictured here in a June 2020 photo, will be leaving his position to take a private sector job. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

PORTLAND — Portland Police Chief Frank Clark will leave the department in November to take a job with a private sector firm.

Clark was hired as Portland police chief by City Manager Jon Jennings in September 2019 after working in the South Portland department. He told staff by email Friday that he would be stepping down to accept a job as a “global corporate security director” at an unnamed firm.

Clark did not name the firm, but described it as “a growing company that has offices and approximately 5,000 employees around the world.”

His last day on the force will be November 1. Assistant Police Chief Heath Gorham will assume the role of acting police chief on November 2, according to a city spokesperson.

Clark accepted the offer Friday, according to an email sent to city staff. The news comes as Portland faces other potential change in its city officials. City manager Jon Jennings is in negotiations with officials in Clearwater, Florida to become their city manager.

“This all came together fairly quickly,” Clark said in the email. “I’m disappointed that the news got out ahead of me, as if things were to work out, I had planned on meeting with many of you, individually, before sending out a broader communication. Since this is so new, I don’t even have a solid timeline to offer yet, but I won’t be going anywhere for a few weeks.”

Clark worked 31 years in the South Portland police department before joining the Portland department.