BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Battle Creek police chief Jim Blocker has announced he is retiring at the start of next year.

An undated photo of Jim Blocker. (Courtesy of Battle Creek Police Department)

After 8.5 years of serving as the chief of Battle Creek Police Department and a total of 26 years with the force, Blocker has announced he will retire on January 31. Deputy Chief Shannon Bagley will replace him as interim chief.

Blocker started his policing career at BCPD in 1997, and called it an “incredible experience” to be able to start and finish in the same city.

“The community has supported the BCPD – and me – in extraordinary ways,” Blocker said in a statement from BCPD. “In looking back at the goals of improving BCPD morale; improving training, equipment, communications, and facilities; establishing partnerships with community organizations; and community outreach – with the support of the City Manager, City Commission, and one of the best staffs a chief could ask for, we hit the mark,”

The new interim chief, Bagley, will serve for six months to see if he is a good fit for the city, BCPD said. After that time is up, the City Manager will decide if he is ready to take the position permanently. If not, Battle Creek will begin the search for a new chief.

An undated photo of Shannon Bagley. (Courtesy of Battle Creek Police Department)

Bagley has served as Investigations Deputy Chief for the department since September 2021. Before that, he was a captain with the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Public Safety Department and retired from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety in 2018 after 25 years at that department.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as your interim chief,” said Bagley in a statement. “The BCPD is in an exceptional position, a direct result of the extraordinary leadership, hard work, and vision of Chief Jim Blocker. His commitment and service to this community is unmatched, and it has been an honor to work with him. I look forward to continuing our department’s work in the community, alongside our incredible BCPD team.”

Bagley will officially step into the chief position on Jan. 15, 2023, and Blocker will retire Jan. 31.