Terry Tometich, chief of the Marana Police Department since April 2008, is resigning his position, Town Manager Gilbert Davidson announced Monday.

The town "will immediately begin a national search to fill the position of police chief," Davidson said in a release. Tometich is resigning, "but has agreed to remain with the town during the transition. The town expects to finalize details regarding the search process by next week."

Marana hopes to have a new police chief in place by the end of 2010, according to Rodney Campbell, public information officer.

Tometich was hired as interim chief April 30, 2008, and took over the position on a permanent basis Sept. 16, 2008.

Tometich came to the MPD after the department was rattled by union votes of no-confidence in its leadership, reports critical of that leadership, conflict over Assistant Chief Barbara Harris and acknowledged low morale among officers.

"At the time of his appointment, Chief Tometich brought much-needed leadership to a police department that faced many challenges," Davidson said. "He has accomplished that mission and the town has benefited from his significant law enforcement experience."

"The biggest thing is I wanted to create an atmosphere where the officers wanted to actually work," Tometich said when he was appointed.

Davidson said Tometich modernized the department's policies and procedures, reorganized its structure and scheduling practices "to ensure optimal coverage over the town's more than 120 square miles," and increased coordination with other law enforcement.

Tometich retired from the Arizona Department of Public Safety in 2005 after 31 years of service.

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