Published: Jan 02, 2014 4:47 PM EST

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- City Manager John Szerlag has removed the "interim" tag and appointed Bart Connelly as the full-time chief for the Cape Coral Police Department. Chief Connelly has been serving as Interim Police Chief since former Chief Jay Murphy retired September 20, 2013.

“Chief Connelly has the earned the respect of his officers, civilian staff and the community, which is essential to be a successful leader of the Cape Coral Police Department,” said Szerlag. “In this short timeframe working with Chief Connelly, it became clear to me that we have the right person in charge of the organization.”

Chief Connelly has been a member of the CCPD since May 1988 and worked his way up through the organization to the Deputy Chief position. Chief Connelly has an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Edison College, a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies from Barry University, and Master’s in Public Administration from Central Michigan University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute Senior Leadership Program and the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police. Chief Connelly serves on the Florida Police Chiefs Association Training Committee and is a Certified Assessor/Team Leader for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

“Chief Connelly personifies the professionalism required to keep our Cape Coral Police Department moving in a positive direction,” added Szerlag. “I am looking forward to working with Chief Connelly on a full-time basis.”

Chief Connelly’s salary will be $122,096.