GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Great Falls Police Chief David Bowen plans on retiring in three months, after about 30 years of service.
According to Great Falls Police Department (GFPD) Lieutenant Doug Otto, Bowen made the announcement during a Jan. 19 city commission meeting. He’ll effectively retire starting April 2.
Before becoming the department’s chief, Bowen served as GFPD’s patrol supervisor, training sergeant, support services supervisor and investigative bureau captain.
While the chief wasn't available to make a statement, Mayor Bob Kelly said Bowen sets a community example, juggling commitments to the city, his officers and family, while keeping an open mind to the public.
"I think where there’ve been issues, whether it’s been charges of neglect or of racism, I think he has responded really well to that situation," Kelly said. "[He] reached out into the community for more dialogue and has been welcoming to criticism that would help him do his job better."
In the nine years he's known Bowen, Kelly described him as someone who serves with high integrity, showing leadership in the best and worst of times throughout his long career.
While internal staff applied for the role in past situations, Otto said the agency will work with Great Falls City Commission and the City Manager’s Office in finding a new chief. He describes it as a high profile, thorough process, with more announcements coming in the near future.