After 23 years of service with the Long Beach Police Department, Timothy Jackman will fulfill one of his longtime dreams when he becomes the new chief of police of the Santa Monica Police Department.

Jackman, 47, the deputy chief of the Investigations Bureau and second in command at the Long Beach Police Department, has been chosen by city manager Lamont Ewell to begin serving as Santa Monica police chief Monday, December 11th.

He will take over for former Police Chief James Butts Jr., who stepped down from the position after 15 years in August to become deputy executive director of law enforcement and protection services for Los Angeles World Airports.

Jackman was one of the top seven finalists interviewed by a panel of residents, business representatives, clergy and school officials last month and was selected as the new police chief after a two-month nationwide search, Ewell said.

“I chose Mr. Jackman because I believe he possesses the attributes this community wants and deserves — a police chief who works well with community members, listens to them and involves them in finding solutions,” Ewell said. “He’s a forward thinker who understands the importance of building relationships across the board.”

Jackman, who has extensive experience in both field operations and administration, has covered a wide range of public safety positions, from community relations to internal affairs, information technology to terrorism prevention, Ewell said.

“I am very impressed with his broad range of experience and expertise,” Ewell said. “He’s a cops’ cop, or someone who has done it all.”

After spending more than two decades at the Long Beach Police Department, Jackman says he wants to “keep learning and growing” in his career and he is excited to be able to lead the police force in a new city.

“It’s been a long dream of mine to be a police chief,” Jackman said of his new position. “It’s a great opportunity and a great city, where the police department has got a very good reputation for professionalism.

“Santa Monica is one of those diamonds of the law enforcement profession.”

As deputy chief of the Long Beach police Investigations Bureau for the past four years, Jackman oversees the divisions of detectives, youth services and gangs and violent crime.

He has served as the commanding officer of the field training program and has experience as a vocational trainer and speaker.

Jackman also has a strong track record in youth services and youth violence prevention, successfully working with the Long Beach Unified School District to pilot new initiatives, Ewell said.

When Butts stepped down as police chief, he said he felt there was “talent” within the organization to take over his position and lead the department into the future.

During the search for a new chief, three of the top-ranking officers in Santa Monica — Deputy Chief Phil Sanchez, Captain Mark Smiley and Captain Jacqueline Seabrooks — all got a chance to serve as interim police chief.

“We had some exceptional internal candidates with great talent and knowledge, but in the end, I had to go with whom I felt was the best for the city and its future,” Ewell said.

Seabrooks, who is currently serving as interim chief, said the officers are looking forward to having Jackman join the department.

“He will bring a fresh perspective to our organization,” Seabrooks said.

Jackman will leave a department of 1,500 employees and $173 million budget in Long Beach for the Santa Monica Police Department, which has 468 employees and a nearly $60 million budget.

Ewell said Jackman is familiar with public safety issues surrounding homelessness, as he is coming from a city with an estimated homeless population of 4,475 that faces challenges similar to Santa Monica.

He developed a program in 2004 to train officers on alternatives to cope with homeless and mentally ill people and worked closely with mental health professionals to train more than 100 officers, Ewell said.

Jackman said he is ready to face the various challenges in Santa Monica, including homelessness and gang violence, and hopes to apply the same problem-solving approach he used in Long Beach.

When Jackman assumes the new position in Santa Monica, among his most immediate plans are to get to know the people in the police department and other city departments, as well as the community members, he said.

In Long Beach, Jackman has served on the board of directors of several charitable and professionally-oriented organizations.

A former U.S. Marine, Jackman has also been a member of the Long Beach Police Department’s nationally recognized pistol team for more than a decade.

He has a Bachelor of Science in business from the State University of New York and an M.B.A. from the University of California at Irvine.

“Mr. Jackman is someone who is approachable, knows how to ensure and improve public safety, works well with at-risk youths and youth services and can run a large organization,” Ewell said. “He’ll be a great addition to our city team.”