TOWSON, MD — Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson will step down as of Jan. 31 and one of his predecessors will take over the position, according to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

“Jim Johnson served this county faithfully and honorably for 38 years, and we are grateful for his service. However, at this time we choose to go in a different direction, and I wish Chief Johnson well," Kamenetz said.

Johnson was appointed chief in 2007 under the administration of previous county executive James Smith. He was one of two people to rise through the ranks from cadet to chief in Baltimore County, according to his biography, which said violent crime dropped 26 percent under his watch.

One decade later, the county's police department will once again be led by Terrence B. Sheridan, who was the police chief for Baltimore County from 1996 to 2007. He headed up Maryland State Police as its superintendent from 2007 to 2011 before retiring. Before that, he was with the agency 30 years.

Currently, officials said Sheridan was serving as a law enforcement advisor to the United States Department of Homeland Security, Intelligence and Analysis Division.

Sheridan will return Feb. 1 as Baltimore County chief of police and will serve the remainder of Kamenetz's term ending December 2018.