Greg Testa
Greg Testa (Boulder Police Department)

Greg Testa, deputy chief of Boulder police, will serve as interim chief when Mark Beckner retires at the end of the month, officials announced Thursday.

Beckner announced his retirement in February after 36 years with the Boulder Police Department. Testa will take over as interim chief April 1 while the city conducts its search for the next chief of police.

"First off, I'd like to say I'm honored that I've been selected, and I appreciate the support from the city manager, from Chief Beckner and from the department," Testa said. "As an interim chief, it's my job to continue moving the organization in the direction we've set. ... My job is to keep us moving forward until a new chief can be selected.

"We want to continue to serve the citizens of Boulder with the best possible police service."

Testa joined the department in 1987 and was promoted to deputy chief of operations in 2009 and deputy chief of support and staff services in January. Testa also has served as detective, sergeant commander and SWAT commander during his time with Boulder police.

"Succession planning and leadership development have been a strong part of the department's strategic planning and organizational culture," Beckner said in a statement. "I am confident that Deputy Chief Testa is well prepared to lead the department with the full support of the leadership team and the respect of our officers throughout the organization."

City Manager Jane Brautigam said the city will conduct an internal search for the next police chief, though a date for a hire has not been set.

"In our search for Boulder's next police chief, understanding this community's values, maintaining strong department leadership, and partnering with residents to address public safety will be essential leadership traits," Brautigam said in a statement. "The police department has fostered these values and commitment to the Boulder community under Chief Beckner's tenure, and there is a strong pool of highly qualified internal candidates who are well prepared to be our next chief of police."

Testa said he is interested in being chief beyond just the interim job.

"I am interested in applying for that position," Testa said.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Mitchell Byars at 303-473-1329, byarsm@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars.