Bloomfield Township Police Chief Scott McCanham, right, will retire in mid-June and Capt. Phil Langmeyer will take his place.

Bloomfield Township Police Chief Scott McCanham, right, will retire in mid-June and Capt. Phil Langmeyer will take his place.

Photo by Donna Agusti

New Bloomfield Township police chief appointed

McCanham to retire after three decades with the department

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published May 21, 2019


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Police Chief Scott McCanham, just short of his two-year anniversary at the helm of the Bloomfield Township Police Department, announced his retirement during last week’s Board of Trustees meeting.

McCanham, who replaced Chief Geof Gaudard in May 2017, said he’ll leave his post in mid-June to move to Midland with his wife, Linda McCanham, an executive at Dow Chemical Co.

“I’ve been recently remarried, so we’re relocating to Midland. I’ve been interviewing up there for chief of Central Michigan University police,” he explained.

McCanham wraps up a 31-year career with the Bloomfield Township Police Department, starting as a patrolman and moving up the ranks to school liaison officer for then-Andover High School, and on to sergeant, captain and eventually chief.

In his two years as chief, he said, he led the charge to get the department accredited by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, a program representing a “significant professional achievement,” according to the MACP website, and granted so far to just 16 Michigan law enforcement agencies.

“That’s one major thing I think we’ve accomplished. It’s been a couple of years in the making, and we’ve always known we were a great department, but it will solidify that and make it official,” he said.

McCanham said he plans to head back to the township to celebrate the accreditation once it’s finalized, but he laments not being around to see the process through.

That task, instead, falls upon his replacement, Capt. Phil Langmeyer, who was appointed as the new chief of police by Township Supervisor Leo Savoie during that same meeting. The 27-year veteran has been with the township for almost the entirety of his law enforcement career, with a quick stint with the Grosse Pointe Woods Police Department right out of the police academy.

“I was very particular about where I wanted to go and build a career, and this was it. This was a destination department,” Langmeyer said.

Just as McCanham succeeded Gaudard, Langmeyer was the natural choice for chief, according to Savoie. Savoie said he spoke with former Police Chief Donald Zimmerman before the appointment, and Zimmerman said he was thrilled with the choice. After all, he had hired both McCanham and Langmeyer decades ago.

“I’ve always said as far as leadership goes, if you have to look outside of an organization to bring in a new leader, that organization has failed,” Savoie said. “Here, they get everything they need from their chain of command to be successful.”

Langmeyer, of White Lake, said his agenda will simply be to pick up where McCanham left off and continue to give residents the level of service they’ve become accustomed to.

But changing with the times can be a good thing too.

“We’ve been doing a lot more on social (media) and we’re going to keep that up. Some of our younger officers are really good at that, so we let them shine,” he said. “We’re also going to continue with (outreach) like crime prevention workshops to prevent fraud and larcenies, and our female self-defense class, and our Citizen Police Academy.”

As Langmeyer hits the ground running, McCanham said he’s looking forward to a slower pace in mid-Michigan, although the relationships he’s built in the community will be tough to leave.

“When news was leaked that I was leaving over the past few weeks, I had so many phone calls from residents offering their best wishes. I’ve been so honored and blessed to have had these 31 years here and be able to do what I’ve done. It’s exceeded all my goals and expectations,” McCanham said. “But the traffic I will not miss.”