Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts has announced that he will be retiring after 12 years at the helm of the Bloomington Police Department.

Employed with the city since 1991, Potts has also served as police officer, sergeant and commander in Bloomington. He was appointed chief of police in November 2008. His retirement will become effective Jan. 31.

“Serving at the Bloomington Police Department for the past 29 years has truly been an honor and a privilege and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Police Chief for the past 12 years,” said Potts.

“The Bloomington Police Department has a strong reputation for professionalism and expertise, due in large part to Chief Potts’ leadership,” said City Manager Jamie Verbrugge. “He is a recognized leader by peers and policy makers alike around the state of Minnesota.”

Potts joined the Bloomington Police Department when he was 23 years old, starting as a patrol officer. He later established the department’s branch base at Mall of America. When he ascended to the department’s top job, he was the first chief to come from within the department in 35 years.

Potts holds a master’s degree in police administration from the University of St. Thomas and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Virginia. He is a past president of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.

In announcing Potts’ retirement, the city highlighted several of his accomplishments.

Those include Bloomington’s involvement in Pathways to Policing, a program designed to remove barriers from nontraditional candidates who are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement but may not have the means to pay for or availability to attend a two-year program. In 2019, Pathways to Policing received a Program Excellence Award for Community Diversity and Inclusion from the International City/County Management Association.

The city also credits Potts for his efforts on the Joint Community Police Partnership, a Hennepin County program that works to enhance relationships between police and the community, specifically with immigrants, people of color, indigenous people, and faith communities.

Also during his time leading Bloomington Police, Potts’ department instituted a body-worn camera program in 2019. According to the department, the program was adopted to collect evidence, identify training needs and enhance public trust.

Potts’ efforts to build relationships with the community included in-person events such as Coffee with a Cop, Community Conversations and Safe Summer Nights. Under Potts, Bloomington Police also established a presence on Twitter, Nextdoor, and Facebook, and launched the video series “Q&A with BPD.”

The city also is also recognizing Potts’ work to enhance equity in policing through focused hiring and training practices.

The list of the chief’s accomplishments goes on to include the establishment of an embedded social worker to assist residents in crisis. He also oversaw public safety operations as the region hosted national events such as presidential visits and the 2018 Super Bowl.

– Adapted from a city of Bloomington press release

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