Longview Police Chief reflects on tenure before retirement

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 11:31 AM CST
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - He’s been there over 30 years, and he’s retiring from the Longview Police Department. We sat down and talked with Police Chief Mike Bishop about why he got into law enforcement, his time as chief, and his plans for the future.

Mike Bishop has been Longview Police Chief for about six years, and in that time, he’s seen some changes although he’s seen a lot more changes since he began as an officer in 1989. But, when he was a kid did he ever think he’d be a police chief?

“You know, no, I didn’t. When I was a kid I never really thought I would be a police officer,” Bishop said.

He said he started on that path after high school and went into the Air Force. They showed him videos of possible career choices.

“They showed one of security police, you know, that was responsible for priority resources, aircraft, weapons systems. At the time. being 19 years old, I thought, ‘Hey, that looks pretty cool,’” Bishop said.

After the Air Force, the logical thing was a police department, where he was on patrol for about six years.

“As I was promoted through the ranks, it became more administrative duty. Things just seemed to happen and fall into place,” Bishop said.

He said when he started, it was all pen on paper for reports that were filed away in drawers.

“Over the years, we’ve had a lot of technological advances. We instituted the body-worn camera program,” Bishop said.

It went to computers in police vehicles, and it’s about to improve.

“We’re in the process of upgrading our records management system and our computer-aided dispatching system,” Bishop said.

Chief Bishop said he was able to make recommendations about the new police station which should be completed by the end of 2022. He said COVID-19 is a challenge and has made it tough to hire new officers.

However, he said the department and city work well together, as do residents.

WEBXTRA: Longview Police Chief reflects on tenure before retirement

“Having that community support is why we come to work every day,” Bishop said.

That is until the last day of January when his six-and-a-half-year stint as chief comes to an end. He made a lot of decisions as chief, but this one was the toughest.

“By far the hardest decision. But, at the same time it’s that decision that we all have to make at some point,” Bishop said.

Bishop will move on to join Tyler Junior College as a full-time faculty member teaching criminal justice and public administration. He’s been a part-time staffer there for over a decade.

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