03/09/2015 09:20 EDT | Updated 05/09/2015 05:59 EDT

Calgary police commission appoints veteran officer as new interim chief

CALGARY - Calgary's police commission has appointed a new interim chief.

Supt. Paul Cook, a 25-year veteran of the force, will assume the role on Friday when current police Chief Rick Hanson retires.

The commission says Cook has a wide range of experience, including being a patrol officer, a hostage negotiator and working in the support section.

He has most recently been serving as Hanson's executive officer.

Commission chairman Rodney Fong says Cook "knows how the executive suite works, he is connected to the members, and he is an exceptionally accomplished senior officer and respected leader."

The commission will continue with its efforts to find a permanent replacement for Hanson, who retires after 40 years in policing.

He has not yet said what he plans to do, but Alberta Premier Jim Prentice has said Hanson would be a good candidate for political service and would be welcomed into the Conservative party.

There have been suggestions he could try to run in the next provincial election — widely speculated to be coming this spring.