Leon M. Krolikowski Jr. was named chief of police, effective immediately, according to a statement released by the New Canaan Police Commission Thursday morning.

Krolikowski, who has been the interim chief since late June, said the appointment represents the fruition of a longtime goal.

"As I progressed through the ranks and was promoted, it had become a goal," he said. "It points to looking back and learning from what others did so that I could lead the department and make it better for everyone."

The new chief would like to reorganize the department, such as adding a traffic enforcement team that would do more investigations into accidents and more educational outreach. He also said he'd like to add a school resource officer at Saxe Middle School. Additionally, he said he plans on issuing a town-wide survey to get feedback from residents on what's going well and what could be improved in the Police Department.

"I'm so excited. I think he's a great choice," Selectman Beth Jones said Thursday morning. "I think he's done a great job as interim chief. I think he's very fair and even handed and treats everyone the same way, which is crucial for a police chief. He's also very bright, and he's done Quantico (he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy), passed the bar, and shown real initiative. I couldn't be happier with the choice."

Krolikowski, a longtime New Canaan resident, has been with the department for 24 years. Prior to his appointment as interim chief, he was a captain and commander of the Staff Services and Operations divisions.

Krolikowski, a graduate of the FBI National Academy, has a law degree from Quinnipiac University and is a 2013 MBA candidate at the University of Massachusetts.

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"The fact that he's a lawyer is a real bonus," Selectman Nick Williams said. "More and more towns in the U.S. are realizing that legal training can be as important as police training in administering police departments today."

Krolikowski has held the interim position since June 28, the effective retirement date of former Chief Edward Nadriczny.