The City of Battle Creek has a new interim police chief. The city announced Tuesday that Detective Jim Blocker will take over the department following former chief Jackie Hampton's retirement last month. Deputy Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Saylor has initially been picked to replace Hampton while the search for a permanent chief was underway way. But Saylor and city officials later agreed that he should step aside because he was considering jobs in other cities.
Interim Battle Creek City Manager Susan Bedsole says Blocker was selected because of his range of experience, including time as executive officer in the police chief's office.
Blocker joined the Battle Creek Police Department in 1997 as a patrol officer. He also was an Army commander during combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007.
The city has hired the consulting firm I/O Solutions to help it find a new police chief. It hopes to hire a permanent replacement for Hampton by early summer.