By Angela Morefield
Beech Grove Police Department Chief Mark Swartz has announced that he will retire from the BGPD effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Swartz is a 37-year veteran of the Beech Grove Police Department. He began his service in 1980 as a reserve officer, and then moved on to be a police dispatcher in 1981. In 1983, Swartz was hired as a full-time police officer. He has moved up through the ranks from patrolman to sergeant to lieutenant to captain and finally, chief of police. He was appointed police chief Jan. 1, 2012 by Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley and has served in that capacity for eight years. During his time of service, some of his duties have included field training officer, evidence technician and K-9 handler.
“I have mixed feelings about retirement. Happy, concerned and will miss my work and friends,” Swartz said. “I have no plans for a job in the future; my plans are to work around my home and to help my family with their wants and needs of my grandkids.” Swartz said has many fond memories of being a full-time officer, a K-9 handler and as chief of police.
“Under his tenure he has built the ranks to the highest number of police officers in the city’s history,” Buckley said. “Chief Swartz has also provided over 14 percent in salary and other payroll benefit increases during his tenure as chief.” During Swartz’s time with the BGPD, he made significant improvements to the department and the personal safety of each police officer. Swartz purchased and placed in service new vests and shields for officers and has almost completely gone through the motor pool with replacement vehicles. He also assigned a police officer to the Beech Grove City School system and has done preparation work for the addition of at least two more officers to the school system.
“Chief Swartz has made a lasting impact on the Beech Grove Police Department and he will be deeply missed,” said Buckley. The city is in the process of searching for a replacement and will look within the department.