BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — After 35 years of service with the Bloomfield Township Police Department, Chief Kirt Bowden will pass the torch to someone new this spring.
Township Supervisor Leo Savoie announced that Bowden’s retirement will be effective May 16, and said that while a successor had not been chosen as of press time, the appointment will come from within the department.
“We have a very talented command staff and we already have a deputy chief in place. I think we have plenty of options,” he said.
The recommendation for Bowden’s replacement will come from Savoie himself, and will then go to the Board of Trustees for approval.
“My expectation is that I will present the choice to the board at its first meeting in May, and the replacement will then become effective on the day of (Bowden’s) retirement,” he said.
Bowden was hired as a patrol officer in 1977 and was promoted to detective in 1988, then to sergeant in 1993 and lieutenant in 1999. In March of 2002, Bowden was promoted to captain and was later named deputy chief in March of 2006, before taking over as chief just one year later.
Over the course of his career, Bowden has received a Department Unit Commendation, an Honorable Mention, a Meritorious Service recognition and a Letter of Recognition. He was named Officer of the Year in 1987.
Savoie said he knew Bowden long before he became the township supervisor, adding that their relationship “did not change one iota” when he became Bowden’s boss.
“I’ve never heard one bit of criticism about him. He is as fair an individual to his officers as he is to the people he serves,” he said.
“I once heard him say, ‘I don’t care if you’re the wealthiest person in Bloomfield Township or someone just driving through — everyone is going to be handled in the same manner.’ This is what our Police Department really believes.”
In a prepared statement, Bowden called the department “one of the most professional police departments in the country,” and one where officers are held to “exceptionally high standards.”
“It has been an honor to serve this community alongside the men and women of this department,” he said.
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