Andre Anderson says his main task will be to restore trust between Ferguson's predominantly black populace and the Missouri city's mostly white police force.
Anderson, the city's first African-American head of police, believes he's the right man for the job.
Ferguson officials on Wednesday introduced Anderson as the city's latest interim police chief. He will take at least a six-month leave of absence from his commander post with police in Glendale, Arizona, to tackle a department put in the national spotlight by last August's shooting of teenager Michael Brown.
Anderson told reporters his first priority would be "simply to build trust" and enhance the city's recent efforts to get officers to develop positive relationships with people in the areas they patrol.
Read more: Ferguson hires black interim police chief