Lafayette Police Capt. Reginald Thomas will temporarily replace outgoing Chief Jim Craft until a permanent hire is made, Mayor-President Joel Robideaux’s administration announced Tuesday.

Thomas will assume the position when Craft, a 39-year veteran who has led the Police Department for 10 years, retires Jan. 31.

Craft will then begin a new role with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration as executive director of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.

Robideaux has said his administration is seeking candidates nationwide to permanently fill the appointed police chief position.

Thomas, a 25-year officer from Lafayette, has held a number of leadership roles within the department.

He oversees Precinct 4 on Lafayette’s north side and the department’s officer-involved shooting team. He previously led the department’s Criminal Investigation Department, served as training director and held the position of co-chair during his two terms as a peer-elected member of the Civil Service Board.

Thomas holds instructor certifications in domestic violence, CPR, force science and ethics training, among others, and he’s the lead computer voice stress analyst for the department — a role that involves using a computer program to detect lies.

Thomas also obtained and manages grants awarded through the Violence Against Women Act and the Justice Assistance Grant Program.

A graduate of the FBI National Academy, Thomas serves as president of the FBI National Academy Associates Inc. chapter in Louisiana. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years and attended Air Force Community College while on active duty.

Thomas also attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Virginia University.