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'It was by far the hardest decision I've had to make': Longview police chief prepares for retirement

After 32 years with the department, Chief Mike Bishop prepares for his last day.

LONGVIEW, Texas — After six years being the Longview police chief, Mike Bishop is preparing for his final days. 

"It seems like it's been a long journey, but it's really been a short journey," said Chief Bishop.

Starting at 19 in the U.S. Air Force, Chief Bishop always had a passion to serve. In July 1989, Mike Bishop joined the Longview Police Department as a patrol officer.

"Public service is a great opportunity," he said. "There's no better job than to go out and help serve your fellow man."

Eventually he rose through the ranks, being promoted to detective, sergeant,  lieutenant, and much more; always focused on strengthening community relationships. Chief Bishop says it's "something that's very near and dear to my heart." He says working hand-in-hard with the community and building those community relationships to "understand what the needs of the community are."

Chief Bishop says he'll miss the officers the most:

"There's a time that you come to work to do the work, but there's also a time to when you can come in the building and kick back, be yourself, and laugh," said Chief Bishop.

Chief Bishop thanks his family for supporting him along the way.

Above being the police chief, Bishop says he's a mentor, a father, a husband, and a friend.

He will begin working at Tyler Junior College as a professor and coordinator of the Public Administration Program.

Chief Bishop says he's excited to connect with the next generation of public servants.

The next chief will be up to the Longview City Manager, but Chief Bishop says a great police chief is someone who is patient, empathetic, a people person, and a great listener.

RELATED: Longview Police Chief Mike Bishop to retire at the end of Jan. 2022

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