Washington, DC, Police Chief Peter Newsham is leaving the force to take over the police department in Prince William County, Va., ending a three-decade career in law enforcement in the nation’s capital.

His departure from one of the most visible law enforcement posts in the country comes as homicides escalate in the District and the chief finds himself increasingly at odds with city lawmakers on how to negotiate changes in policing.

The news came abruptly in a news release from the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) learned of Newsham’s new job when a reporter contacted him Tuesday night, the Washington Post reports.

In a statement, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) thanked the chief and said that “he led the department through a time of great change and challenge for our city and our nation.”