GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A little more than two years after assuming the role, Greensboro Police Chief Brian James will retire.

On Monday, the police department announced that James would be retiring on May 31. Teresa Biffle, a 27-year veteran of the force and deputy chief of the management bureau, will serve as interim police chief while the city searches for James’s permanent replacement. The city will work with an executive recruiting firm to help in the search.

James became the 23rd GPD chief on Jan. 31, 2020 after more than two decades with the Greensboro Police Department. He leaves the role with accolades from the city council.

“Our community has benefited from the steadfast leadership of Chief Brian James and his departure will be an enormous loss to our City,” said Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. “He led the department through challenges, such as the 2020 summer protests, a relentless pandemic and record number vacancies in law enforcement. On behalf of the City Council, we thank Chief James for his dedication and years of exemplary service.”

Greensboro City Manager Taiwo Jaiyeoba said, “Prior to, and since my arrival as City Manager earlier this year, Chief James has been a phenomenal team member. In our regular communication, he demonstrates a unique passion for his job and genuine support for our police officers. His ideas and stellar leadership will be missed. Chief James developed an exceptional team of deputies who are able to continue the vision he charted for the department.”

A Greensboro native, James is a graduate of Page High School. He joined the police department on Feb. 16, 1996, as a member of the 72nd PBIC.

James has held a number of positions with the police department and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from North Carolina A&T State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Pfeiffer University.

After beginning as a member of the 72nd PBIC, he served as a corporal and sergeant before he was promoted to supervisor of the crash investigation traffic enforcement team in 2002.

Two years later, he became supervisor for the training division and, in 2004, he was promoted to lieutenant and executive officer to the chief of police.

He also later served as executive officer to the criminal investigation division.

He was promoted to captain in 2009, serving as patrol operations commander, and, later that year, was assigned as commanding officer of the training division.

In 2011, he became the commanding officer of the central patrol division before becoming commanding officer of the resource management division.