Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore (Courtesy/City of Salem)

Salem Police Department's top officer will begin winding down his four-decade career.

Chief Jerry Moore announced Thursday he plans to retire Nov. 30, according to a press release from the city of Salem. He will continue to serve as police chief on an interim basis until the city can hire his replacement. That search starts January 2020.

"This early announcement gives us much-needed time to make the best decision for the future safety of our community," City Manager Steve Powers said in the press release.

Moore led Salem's police for 14 years and has been with the force about 40 years total. He joined the department in 1979 with about two-and-a-half years of experience under his belt, according to the release.

"I'm privileged to serve this community, my home. Although I will continue my service for a limited duration, know that I will do it with the same commitment I have always had," he said in the release.

Moore is a Salem native. He grew up in the Highland neighborhood and graduated from McNary High School.

"Chief Moore remains the best police chief in the country. I'm thrilled that Chief Moore will continue to serve our community," said Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett.

Powers said of Moore that Salem and its residents "are all better because of his leadership."

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