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Jim Blocker named new Police Chief in Battle Creek

BATTLE CREEK, MI (WNWN) - Detective Jim Blocker, who has served in the interim position since February 25, will be Battle Creek's next police chief, effective immediately.

Battle Creek Interim City Manager Susan Bedsole said Blocker was the standout candidate, and came recommended by public safety recruitment and selection firm I/O Solutions ahead of last Friday's interviews of three finalists for the position.

 "I believe Jim best meets the needs of the department, organization and community," Bedsole said. "He has shown over the past several months he has the skill set, motivation and knowledge to lead the Police Department forward. He has shown he possesses the qualities necessary to lead the department in a positive direction and to maximize the talents of its employees."

She noted that Blocker was the top candidate recommended by I/O Solutions and emphasized the positive comments she received about Blocker from police department employees, as well as from residents who attended last week's meet-and-greet opportunity with the finalists. "Everyone was very thoughtful and I read them all," she said.

The city hired I/O Solutions to conduct the initial process. The firm received 28 applications, narrowing the list by reviewing resumes, conducting phone interviews and inviting seven candidates to an Assessment Center at City Hall. Four accepted and attended, and were scored on three exercises by six police chiefs from across Michigan.

Blocker received the highest score from the Assessment Center. Last week, following a city tour, he and the two other candidates attended the meet-and-greet event, then participated in final interviews with city officials.

Blocker has served with the BCPD since 1997. He has worked as a police officer in patrol and Community Affairs Bureau positions, and as executive officer in the Office of the Chief. The latter position included planning and organizing special projects with the community and within the department and maintaining and monitoring the department's budget.

He also has served in multiple military command roles and has received numerous awards, including two Bronze Stars.

Blocker follows former Chief Jackie Hampton, who retired at the end of January.

(courtesy City of Battle Creek)