A sign in front of the Portland Police Department is seen in this July 22, 2016, file photo.

The city of Portland has tapped a veteran law enforcement officer from a neighboring city as its new chief of police.

City Manager Jon Jennings has chosen Frank Clark, a lieutenant with the South Portland Police Department, where Clark has served since 1988, as the Forest City’s new police chief, according to Jessica Grondin, a spokeswoman for the city. Clark previously served as South Portland’s acting police chief for a period in 2014.

Clark will take over the Portland Police Department from interim police Chief Vern Malloch, who took the helm at the department in July 2018 after the previous police chief, Michael Sauschuck, accepted a position as an assistant city manager in City Hall. Sauschuck now serves at the commissioner of the Maine Department of Public Safety following his confirmation to that post in February.

“I am pleased Frank has accepted the offer to lead the Portland Police Department into the future,” Jennings, the city manager, said. “Throughout the interview process, Frank demonstrated a commitment to developing a 21st century department looking at all ways to innovate and create a more efficient work environment for our highly dedicated and professional set of officers. We are fortunate in Portland to have the finest group of police officers and professional staff in New England. The well-being of our community and police department employees was at the forefront of my decision making process. I know Frank will work collaboratively with the entire department to provide the training and equipment that will ensure the safety of our officers and the broader community. I’d like to thank community leaders, city staff and others who participated in interviewing the finalists as they provided me with invaluable feedback in my decision making process.”

Jennings also thanked Malloch for serving as the city’s interim police chief.

Clark holds an associate’s degree in law enforcement technology from Southern Maine Community College, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern Maine and a leadership certificate from the FBI National Academy, Grondin said. Clark is working toward earning a master’s degree in public policy and management from the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service, she said.

He will earn $129,636 annually.