Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has appointed TPD's own Brent Blankley to be the department's next police chief, he announced at a press conference Monday morning.

The appointment is contingent on confirmation from the seven-member city council and Blankley will formally take the reins on March 3rd.

"The appointment for the position of chief is not one that I have taken lightly, and I have taken into account the recommendations of the community, City staff and many current and former police officers," Maddox said. "I have full confidence in Lt. Blankley’s experience, and know that he deeply cares for the department and its officers, and will lead our department with integrity and dedication."

Blankley said some of his top priorities as chief will include beefing up TPD's cyber-security efforts, improving the department's recruitment and retention of new officers and maintaining the strong relationship between the department and the community that former chiefs have worked so hard to establish.

Blankley has served in the Tuscaloosa Police Department since 2006. He was promoted to sergeant in 2011 and lieutenant in 2015.  He has served as TPD's public information officer, the co-director of its Citizen's Academy and as the commander of the department's Midnight Shift Patrol and its Municipal Security division.

Blankley was one of 62 candidates considered by Mayor Maddox and a committee made up of city staff and police officers. Seven were interviewed, and the committee selected two finalists -- Blankley and retired Captain Randy Vaughn.

Each candidate held a Q&A session with current members of the Tuscaloosa Police Department last week before Maddox completed final interviews and made his decision.