David MacDonald, the chief of the Newton Police, informed Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller yesterday morning that he will be retiring.

In a statement announcing the retirement, Fuller wrote that MacDonald had been contemplating his retirement from the Newton city government "for some time" and that he wants to focus more on his health and family. A retirement date for MacDonald, who joined the Newton Police in 1993 and became chief in late 2015, has yet to be announced.

"He recently recognized that with all of the work we have ahead, that his successor would be best off starting that important work from the beginning stages, rather than at the implementation stage," Fuller said in the statement. "I understand that and appreciate that even while making this difficult decision, he again, considered the needs of the Cityof Newton Police Department."

The announcement of MacDonald's retirement comes at a time of tension for law enforcement across the country as calls to defund police have started to become mainstream after police officers killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks.

It also comes about two weeks after Tim Duncan, the athletic director at the University of New Orleans, said Newton police stopped him and his wife at gunpoint outside of their home in Newton just days before police killed Floyd in Minneapolis.

Duncan said he was profiled as the police searched for a murder suspect. After Duncan first shared his account, the Newton Police admitted one officer drew his gun during the stop. Duncan told Greater Boston that he spoke to the mayor, police chief and civil rights officer for the Newton Police department after the incident and that they apologized.

But the incident has drawn a high level of attention. And on Monday, Fuller announced she is forming an independent police reform task force that will look at areas including recruiting, hiring, training and promoting and misconduct and discipline.

The goal is for the task force to begin meeting the first week of July and report to Fuller and the community every six weeks.

There was no mention of the stop of Duncan or the reforms from Fuller in the announcement of MacDonald's retirement.