ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – A Michigan police chief has been chosen as the next police chief in Albany.

The Albany Police Department has been led the past 18 months by Acting Police Chief Bob Sears, who is set to retire next week. The Times Union of Albany reports Democratic Mayor Kathy Sheehan has appointed 50-year-old Eric Hawkins to lead the 350-strong force.

Sheehan says Hawkins’ experience as police chief in Southfield — a northern suburb of Detroit — made him the best candidate for the job.

The Albany Common Council has 45 days to confirm or reject the appointment. Earlier this week, the council approved increasing the salary for the next chief to $145,000.

If confirmed, Hawkins would be Albany’s second black police chief.

John Dale, Albany’s first black police chief, ran the department from 1989 until his retirement in 1995.

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