Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has said he plans to conduct a national search to find the next person to lead the Columbus Division of Police. Chief Kim Jacobs has announced her plan to retire in early February.

During an interview with NBC4 Thursday at City Hall, the mayor said he will be looking for a “change agent.”

“We want an agent of change who is committed on building up the strong foundation that is in place but taking us to the next level as a division of police and as a city,” Ginther said.

The mayor said he fought for the ability under Civil Service rules to conduct a national search for a chief rather than be limited to internal candidates.

“The people of Columbus and our police officers deserve the very best person to fill this role, whether that person comes from inside or outside the division,” said Mayor Ginther.

The mayor said that by the end of 2019, the city will have more police officers than ever in the city’s history. But, he said, improving public safety requires more than just hiring – it requires a different style of policing.

“I’m not satisfied,” Ginther said. “Simply seeing signs of progress and success is not good enough for the people of Columbus based on what they invest in our public safety budget and their expectations and so policing differently and meeting and exceeding the communities expectations around safety will remain a top priority for me and the new chief.”

The mayor said he does not have a set timetable for hiring a new chief.

 “I don’t want to rush this decision, it’s too important to me, too important to the people Columbus and our officers to rush it,” said Ginther.