(KPAX) Missoula Police Chief Mike Brady says that after six years at the helm, timing is his biggest motivation for stepping down.

“You know, I'm at a point where I want to do something else, but I don't want to wait until I’m too old to do it,” Chief Brady told MTN News.

He’ll go from working for the police department to a role with the city as its risk manager.

He says the transition to a new chief allows the department to continue the growth he has seen since arriving here 31 years ago.

“Law enforcement changes so much, and we are hiring so many new people that they look for different things in the job. They look for different things from us,” Chief Brady said. “And I think that change is good in all facets of the department and it provides growth."

While Chief Brady says that he is happy with how the size of the department has grown since he took over, the next chief will have his or her hands full with deploying that staff to protect a growing city.

“I think that it’s gonna be important to understand how scheduling is occurring. [Are] there better ways to deploy resources? And those are things that we need data to support any changes,” Brady said.

Chief Brady will be leaving on Dec. 31. In the meantime, the city will search for the next head of the department.

“You know, we sit in these positions and we try to develop those to take over in our absence and I don't think that there is any one of us that … are doing our job if we make sure that there are others to be there when we were not there,” Chief Brady said.

“The police department has done a good job of training staff and making opportunities for those people within the department to advance as they want,” he added.

Chief Brady also says there are plenty of deserving capable candidates in-house, but it’s a matter of what direction Mayor John Engen would like the department to go.