Santa Monica Police Chief Tim Jackman has announced his plan to step down as the city’s top cop.

Jackman, who has led the Santa Monica Police Department for nearly five years, will retire in December but he will continue to serve as interim police chief through the end of March while the city conducts a search for his replacement, Sgt. Richard Lewis told The Argonaut.

Jackman was appointed police chief in December 2006, replacing former chief James Butts, who served for 15 years before taking a law enforcement position at Los Angeles World Airports.

Prior to joining the Santa Monica department, Jackman served nearly 24 years with the Long Beach Police Department, where he worked in every major command and left as deputy chief.

He previously spent five years as the officer in charge of the basic police academy, training over 400 new police officers in the fundamentals of the profession.

A former Marine, Jackman has significant operational experience at all levels of police administration, including internal affairs.