After nearly five years leading the Bremerton Police Department, Chief Steve Strachan will be leaving at the end of the year to head the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, the professional law enforcement organization for the state.

Although his new job will take him to Olympia, Strachan told his officers in an announcement on Wednesday that he plans to continue living in Bremerton.

“I am proud to call this my home, and Sue and I plan to continue to live here,” Strachan wrote.

Finding a new police chief will fall to the city’s mayor. Incumbent Patty Lent is currently trailing City Councilman Greg Wheeler in Tuesday's election.

Strachan told officers he was not looking for a new job, but the current executive director was retiring and he sees the new role as a continuation of the work he has done in Bremerton. Strachan previously was the King County sheriff and police chief in Kent.

“I think you know that our mission and the work done by law enforcement means a lot to me, and I try to tell our important story every chance I get,” Strachan wrote to officers. "As the executive director of WASPC, I will be able to tell that story and work to move us forward in a new and different way.

Strachan currently makes $154,000, the top of the pay range for police chief. After the mayor appoints a new chief the council will vote on his or her confirmation.