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Bloomington Police Chief Nominated To Become U.S. Marshal

Michael Hill
Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner, right, at a recent council meeting.

Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner has been nominated to become the next U.S. Marshal for the Central District of Illinois.

The Trump administration made the announcement Tuesday. It was confirmed by a statement issued by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Democrats from Illinois.

“Through many years of service to Illinois, Brendan Heffner and Bradley Maxwell (the U.S. Marshal nominee for the Southern District of Illinois) have demonstrated strong qualifications to serve as United States Marshals,” Durbin and Duckworth said in a joint statement. “We expect them to serve with professionalism, responsibility, and a clear focus on the mission of the Marshals Service. We look forward to seeing their nominations through the Senate.”

In a statement on BPD's Facebook page Tuesday, Heffner said he was "honored" but remained focused on his current job until his nomination was approved by the U.S. Senate.

Reached by GLT on Tuesday, Heffner declined an interview request about his new career opportunity.

"It's a nomination," he said. "I still have a job to do (in Bloomington). Doing a lot of interviews seems like putting the cart before the horse."

Heffner has served as Bloomington’s chief since 2013. He retired from the Illinois State Police as a lieutenant colonel in 2010. He began his career as a Normal Police officer in the mid-1980s.

Heffner’s nomination must be approved by the U.S. Senate. The timeline for that was unclear Tuesday, meaning the city's timeline for finding a new police chief is also not known.

"It is too early in the confirmation process for the police department and city to give any answers to your questions," Bloomington Police spokesperson Elias Mendiola said via email Tuesday. "They would be of a speculative nature."

U.S. Reps. Darin LaHood and Rodney Davis, the House Republicans who represent Bloomington-Normal, applauded Heffner's nomination.

“We congratulate Chief Brendan Heffner on being nominated to serve as the United States Marshal for the Central District of Illinois," Davis and LaHood said in a joint statement. "Chief Heffner is an exemplary officer who started as a patrolman and rose through the ranks because of his love of service and dedication to the protecting our community.

"It is our belief that he will make an excellent U.S. Marshal and serve our country well, just as he’s served the Bloomington-Normal community and the state of Illinois for more than 30 years. We hope his nomination is approved quickly by the U.S. Senate."

The U.S. Marshal for the Central District of Illinois job is currently vacant, according to the Marshals Service website. The last person to hold the job was Kenneth Bohac, according to the Marshals.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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