LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The interim Police Chief of the Little Rock Police Department announced his retirement Wednesday as the city continues to search for a permanent head of the department.

Interim Police Chief Wayne Bewley said that he was retiring after 36 years of service in the LRPD, adding that he was accepting another job opportunity.

“This has truly been the dream job of my life and has provided me the opportunity to experience so many things while working with some of the best police officers anywhere in this country,” Bewley said. “I am forever grateful to the City of Little Rock. With that being said, it is time to move on to the next chapter of my life.”

Mayor Frank Scott Jr. shared Bewley’s announcement and his appreciation of Bewley’s time as interim chief in an email to the city directors.

“Chief Bewley provided needed stability to the department and continued to advance LRPD in a positive direction,” the mayor wrote. “He’s been an asset to me in my search for a permanent chief and I’ll miss his counsel and leadership.”

Bewley’s announcement comes in the middle of the ongoing search for a permanent replacement for the previous chief, Keith Humphrey, who retired in May.

Throughout the search for a replacement, 20 have applied for the position and none have been hired yet. The mayor said that he expects to name a new chief in the next 30 to 60 days.

Bewley was the second interim chief during the search after Crystal Young-Haskins, the first interim chief, resigned in June.

Current assistant chief, Heath Helton, will be the next to take up the interim position on Dec. 3, and Bewley is set to retire on Dec. 30.