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Donath To Retire As Bloomington Police Chief

Dan Donath at news conference
Eric Stock
/
WGLT
Dan Donath has announced his retirement as Bloomington police chief effective Sept. 1.

Bloomington Police Chief Dan Donath has announced his retirement, less than one year after he took over the department he served for 26 years.
“After careful consideration, I’ve decided it’s time to close this chapter of my life and start to write the next,” Donath said in a news release. “Police work is a very rewarding and a very demanding profession. In retirement, I look forward to spending more time with my family and focusing on those moments in life that you just can’t get back.”

City Manager Tim Gleason has named assistant chief Greg Scott interim police chief effective Sept. 1, when Donath’s retirement takes effect.  Gleason named Lt. Tim Stanesa interim assistant chief.

Gleason said Donath’s announcement took him by surprise.

“He expected three to five years (as chief), but no regrets,” he said. “I squeezed out a great one year where a number of things have happened and support Dan’s position.”

Gleason credited Donath’s efforts to improve officer wellness by having officers trained to better help their fellow officers handle the mental and emotional toll the job can take.

“Pre-COVID it was tough enough, but now amidst COVID and other challenges in policing, taking care of those men and women is a priority and Dan definitely has left a lasting change in that department,” Gleason said. 

Gleason tabbed Donath as police chief last August. He replaced Clay Wheeler, another BPD veteran, who retired after less than one year as chief.

Gleason said he believes the department is well equipped to handle the transition.

“While not ideal and not what we planned for, they could probably absorb this a little bit better than a number of other departments out there,” he said.

Gleason added he likely won’t begin the search for a new chief until early 2021. He said that will allow time for more stability in the department and possibly lead to a better pool of candidates.

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Eric Stock is a reporter at WGLT.