After 25 years with the Bloomington Police Department, Interim Police Chief Michael Hartley is retiring. His last day is March 25.
“I stayed 25 years, because I could not imagine being happier anywhere else,” Interim Chief Hartley said.
Before coming to Bloomington, Chief Hartley began his career in Florida as a police officer. In 1997, he was hired by the BPD.
“I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to work for the best police department in the state,” he said. “I am thankful for the friendships and comradery that I built through the years. Being part of a team that often is referred to as a ‘family’ and being there for each other when times were good and bad is the best.”
During his tenure at the BPD, Chief Hartley has filled many different roles, including field training officer, SWAT team member, detective and sergeant. In 2013, he was promoted to commander and assigned to special operations where he oversaw the Mall Unit, Crime Prevention Unit and Emergency Response Unit (SWAT, BOMB, and Negotiators). Then, in 2014, he was promoted to deputy chief. Chief Hartley became interim police chief on February 1, 2021, following the retirement of Chief Jeff Potts.
One of the biggest projects he oversaw was planning for Super Bowl LII. That project began 18 months before the actual game was played in Minneapolis. It involved partners at the local, state and federal levels.
“Not only did we have to put operational plans in place for players and visitors who were staying and/or visiting a number of high-profile attractions in Bloomington, but we also had to account for what a simple five-inch snowfall could do to getting people downtown on game day,” Chief Hartley said.
Another memorable experience was serving on the SWAT team deployed to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“One takeaway was the resiliency of the human spirit and their will to survive and eventually rebuild,” he said.
Chief Hartley is a longtime Bloomington resident. Both of his children attended public schools and graduated from Kennedy High School.
“Bloomington is a great city with exceptional staff throughout the organization,” Chief Hartley said. “I will miss connecting with members of the community we serve.”