SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT) -

After 11 years as Sparta’s police chief, Mike Kass said goodbye to his department.

Chief Kass has accepted the chief of police position in the Village of Brown Deer in northern Milwaukee County.

Brown Deer is slightly larger than Sparta with a bigger police force to manage. Chief Kass starts his new job on Monday.

"It was a difficult decision for my wife and I to make, but an opportunity like this comes along rarely and we decided to act on it, and we have an added benefit that one of our sons and grandchildren are going to be a little bit closer,” Chief Kass said.

The chief had a goodbye picnic with staff on Thursday and had some more goodbyes to give on Friday.

“Having to take my personal stuff off the walls and kinda empty out the office is a little humbling, but it’s exciting to be able to put those up in another office very soon,” Chief Kass said.

Chief Kass said he’s proud of the relationships he’s built with his coworkers, community members, other law enforcement and the media.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is the working relationship the police department has established with the media, especially Channel 8. I mean, we’ve got a very good working relationship not only through interviews, but through social media. So hopefully we can take that same media relationship to Brown Deer.”

Sparta Police Lieutenant Dave Kuderer will be the acting police chief while the city’s police commission searches for a successor. Chief Kass said a new chief will likely be chosen by the end of the year.