PORTLAND, Maine — After a year of intermin leadership, the city of Portland has finally confirmed former South Portland Lieutenant Frank Clark as its new head of police.

The official vote was cast by city councilors during Wednesday nights meeting.

Clark has served in the South Portland Police Department since 1988. He will replace Mike Sauschuck, who stepped down last summer to become Portland's assistant city manager and was later appointed commissioner of Maine's Public Safety Department by Gov. Janet Mills.

He was one of three candidates being considered. Among them, interim Portland Police Chief, Vern Malloch, who has been with the department since 1984. He was assistant chief before being named interim chief in July 2018 when Sauschuck took the job as assistant city manager.

"I am pleased Frank has accepted the offer to lead the Portland Police Department into the future,” said City Manager Jon Jennings. “Throughout the interview process, Frank demonstrated a commitment to developing a 21st century department looking at all ways to innovate and create a more efficient work environment for our highly dedicated and professional set of officers. We are fortunate in Portland to have the finest group of police officers and professional staff in New England. The well-being of our community and police department employees was at the forefront of my decision making process. I know Frank will work collaboratively with the entire department to provide the training and equipment that will ensure the safety of our officers and the broader community. I’d like to thank community leaders, city staff and others who participated in interviewing the finalists as they provided me with invaluable feedback in my decision making process."

Jennings continued: "I’d like to thank Interim Chief Malloch for leading the department over the last year. I have the utmost respect for him, and am thankful for his service."