SANTA FE — The governor of New Mexico has appointed a new chief of State Police — with a significantly larger salary than the one his predecessor started with.

Spokeswoman Caroline Sweeney said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed Deputy Chief W. Troy Weisler to assume the role on June 24, with a salary of $158,000.

Current Chief Tim Johnson was appointed as the state’s top cop in 2019, starting at $125,000 a year, and is retiring after 23 years with State Police. Johnson is currently making almost $145,000.

In a statement Lujan Grisham said Weisler “has the real-life experience and eye toward the future that a modern police force needs, and the people of New Mexico deserve.”

“As chief, he will focus on building up relationships with local and federal partners to drive down crime and make New Mexico safer,” she said. “He is dedicated to creating a state police force which reflects the communities it protects by developing and implementing innovative ways to increase diversity within the department.”

Sweeney said Weisler was with State Police for 21 years and started as a patrol officer in Deming and Moriarty in 2002. She said, since then, Weisler had worked in every division of the Department of Public Safety’s Law Enforcement branch.

Weisler’s appointment as chief is still subject to state Senate confirmation.

Sweeney said, like his successor, Johnson started his career as an officer with State Police in 2000. She said Johnson has worked “in every commissioned section, division, and bureau.”

“It’s been an honor that I probably was unworthy of. I think I, and the department, did the best we could to navigate some crazy, strange times,” Johnson told the Journal on Tuesday, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide calls for police reform in 2020.

Johnson said he plans to spend time with his family before figuring out what he’s going to do in the “afterlife.”