(KRON) — Oakland Fire Chief Dr. Reginal D. Freeman is resigning from his job next month to retire, KRON4 has confirmed. In an email obtained by KRON4, Freeman said he was retiring from the fire service on June 22 and has accepted a “C-Suite position in the private sector.”

“This has been a painful and very difficult decision but one that was made collectively as a family,” Freeman said. “I am so proud of each and every one of you and all that you do. It has been my absolute honor to serve alongside you and thank you for making me better.”

Freeman’s retirement will leave Oakland short of another major department head following Mayor Sheng Thao’s firing of Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong earlier this year.

Freeman was first appointed as fire chief by the City of Oakland in April of 2021. Prior to that, he served as Fire Chief for the City of Hartford, Connecticut and as a civilian Fire Chief in Iraq for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Freeman’s resignation comes as the City of Oakland is grappling with the largest budget deficit in its history. Earlier this week, Mayor Thao announced she would be implementing a hiring freeze and delaying the implementation of some city programs in order to help balance the budget.