The Bloomington community says farewell to its outgoing police chief.
Brendan Heffner is saying good-bye to the people he’s served since 2013 as the first African-American chief in department history.
“It’s a little bitter/sweet,” said Darren Wolf, Bloomington Communications Center Manager. “He’s been a great chief. Had a real good opportunity to work with him. It’s been a pleasure.”
As Heffner moves on to be a U.S. Marshall of the Central Illinois District, he says there’s one thing he will miss most.
“The people. For me it’s the people,” said Brendan Heffner, Outgoing BPD Chief. “The people in the department. We learn, we grow together with some things, and they will keep doing that under Chief Wheeler.”
And his co-workers say his community involvement is what’s made him stand out.
“Chief Heffner has had an awesome ability to be a community driven individual,” said Elias Mendiola, BPD Public Affairs Officer. “And you can see that with his interactions.”
Though he’s retiring from the Bloomington Police Department, he says he plans to stay in the area. His new office will be in Springfield.
“I’m excited,” said Heffner. “Also obviously a little nervous. I haven’t done it before so. But I’m eager to learn.”
With Heffner’s succession plan in mind, Assistant Chief Clay Wheeler will take over as interim chief until city council can vote on Monday.
“I think we have worked great together,” said Clay Wheeler, BPD Interim Chief. “I’ve learned a lot from him, and hopefully stay pretty close as he moves onto this next challenge.”