BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) — A new police chief has been appointed in Brighton.

Matthew Domenico will take the lead after the retirement of Chief Paul Southard, the city announced last week. Domenico has been serving as interim chief since Southard’s retirement in October. He was the deputy police chief before that.

“Chief Domenico brings more than 18 years of dedicated law enforcement experience to this position. He has proven leadership abilities, a track record of instituting proactive policing strategies, and a commitment to the safety of our residents,” City Manager Michael Martinez said in a statement. “He has a strong work ethic and has earned the respect from the community and his peers and I am excited to have him lead the department.”

Domenico was hired after a nationwide search, the city said in a news release. He has worked with the Brighton Police Department since 2004, according to the city. He began as a patrol officer and has since worked as a detective, patrol and investigations sergeant and patrol commander.

“During his time with the Brighton Police Department, Domenico played an instrumental role in implementing a program to more effectively investigate crimes of sexual violence, while providing better services to survivors of sexual violence,” the city stated in a news release. “He also oversaw the implementation of numerous innovative initiatives for the department, including body-worn and fleet cameras. In 2015, Domenico was named Brighton Police Employee of the Year.”

He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in law enforcement and public safety leadership, according to the city.