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Meet New Chief of Police James Gallagher

James Gallagher is many things: a husband, a father of two, a Ferris State University alumnus, and as of July 1, 2022 the Bloomfield Township Chief of Police. Chief Gallagher started in the BTPD in 2000 and has served as a Field Training Officer, a Dispatch Trained Officer and a member of the Oakland County Narcotics Team before succeeding outgoing Chief Philip Langmeyer. He looks forward to continuing to lead the department with empathy while reflecting on the accomplishments that led to becoming chief.

“I want to ensure that BTPD treats both residents and visitors to the community with dignity and respect,” said Gallagher. Maintaining the first class service of the police in the community is a high priority for him, and this happens by instilling leadership qualities through all ranks of the department. In his ten years as a FTO, Gallagher came to realize, “Field Training Officer is one of the single most important jobs in the department. You’re a mentor to new recruits as they begin training for the job. You set the example of how to act in a BTPD uniform. You’re a new officer’s first exposure to supervision and your expectations carry throughout their entire career.”

He is also a Dispatch Trained Officer, which not only requires knowledge of changing technology, but made him keenly aware of how important dispatch is. “Dispatchers set the tone for someone’s entire experience with the police. They are the first contact in law enforcement when someone calls 911. Responding officers need important information quickly and if dispatch does their job well, the police can do their job well.” Expanding the staff and capabilities of dispatch is another priority for Chief Gallagher, who said, “We do not outsource this responsibility and we never want to outsource this responsibility because it is such a highly important job.”

Partnering with other organizations and working together was instrumental in the success of stopping drug dealers when he served as a member of the Oakland County Narcotics Team. Building community relationships in the Township is key to a healthy police department and he looks forward to continuing the department bond with schools and other community partners.  “Educating residents on safety such as gun safety and traffic safety is essential to a safe community – it does not begin and end with public safety officials," he said.

Reflecting on his path from receiving a Criminal Justice Degree at Ferris State University to Chief of Police, Gallagher boils success down to one word: dignity. “Self-respect is important to becoming a good police officer because it allows you to respect others. In a situation with law enforcement it is important to never take away an individual’s dignity. If dignity remains intact, we can safely do our jobs and maintain the community’s trust."


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