MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Manchester's former police chief is now New Hampshire's U.S. marshal.

The Senate unanimously confirmed Nick Willard as U.S. marshal for the state of New Hampshire on Tuesday.

The state's Democratic senators praised the move. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says Willard's experience as police chief make him uniquely qualified, particularly his efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Sen. Maggie Hassan said the new role is in keeping with Willard's dedication to keeping the state's communities safe.