Simi Valley Police Capt. Richard Wright was named Tuesday to be acting chief of his department for the next five months while a professional headhunter searches for a permanent replacement.
Wright, 51, was chosen to stand in for former Chief Willard R. Schlieter, who stepped down last month amid charges he had been a weak commander during his one-year tenure.
Simi Valley City Manager Lin Koester said in a written statement announcing his appointment of Wright, "I have every confidence in his ability to lead the department over the next several months."
Wright said Tuesday that he has no plans for changing the department.
"I'm just an interim acting chief," Wright explained.
"My focus is to help maintain the department, to provide the service to the community we've been maintaining all along."
Wright said he will oversee ongoing efforts to fill five dispatcher vacancies that are being covered temporarily by line officers, and to finish trouble-shooting the computerized dispatch system.
Wright took his post with the Simi Valley Police Department in 1986, after serving 21 years with the Los Angeles Police Department.
He had worked in LAPD's Metro Division, its SWAT team and other assignments, most recently as section leader of an intelligence division monitoring organized crime.
As a Simi Valley captain, Wright oversees divisions including detectives, administration, records and special operations.
As acting chief, he will earn $6,984 per month, the equivalent of $83,808 a year. Wright has said he will not apply to become the permanent chief, for personal reasons he declined to discuss.