Bloomington Assistant Police Chief Clay Wheeler has been named the Interim Police Chief, once Randy McKinley retires at the end of the week. Wheeler is a Bloomington native who is in his 22nd year with the Bloomington department, though he was named Lieutenant only in 2011 and Assistant Chief later that year. He has also been a field training officer, a hostage negotiator, and for 13 years a detective. The 46 year old Wheeler has also worked in Lafayette, Indiana. City officials say Wheeler suggested the idea of permanent beats for patrol officers back in 1993 to enhance community policing efforts and attempts to deal with gangs. This approach has grown into the department's current problem oriented policing philosophy which seeks to enlist residents to help officers tackle problems. Wheeler received the police department's Distinguished Achievement Award in 2008 for his work on the Jeff Pelo serial rape case. Wheeler says he does not have a lot of experience with administration, but knows his limitations and will rely on the experience of others in the department. He says he will try to inspire members of the departmnt to do the best job for the community.
Support Your Public Radio Station