WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Waterbury police chief has announced that he is leaving to take over the West Hartford police department.

Chief Vernon Riddick Jr. is the first African-American to be chief in Waterbury and would become West Hartford's first black chief, as well. West Hartford officials said Monday that his hiring is still contingent on a successful background check. He is scheduled to start in June.

West Hartford Town Manager Matt Hart tells the Hartford Courant that Riddick has a rare combination of leadership qualities and managerial expertise.

His salary in West Hartford will start at $144,000. The Republican-American reports that he was paid $130,000 a year in Waterbury, where he was chief for six years.