Coleman has been serving as interim chief since October. He has 29 years of law enforcement experience.

COURTESY PHOTO - Jim ColemanInterim Hillsboro Police Chief Jim Coleman will lead the Hillsboro Police Department as chief permanently, the city announced Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Coleman was appointed interim chief after former chief Lee Dobrowolski announced his retirement in October.

Coleman has 29 years of law enforcement experience. He holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Utah and a master's degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University. He started his career in 1990 at the Salt Lake City Police Department, where he rose through the ranks, ultimately becoming deputy chief in 2010.

During Coleman's 25-year tenure in Salt Lake City, he commanded the patrol division, internal affairs, and the police academy. He also served as the International Broadcast Center venue commander during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

After being hired as deputy chief of the Hillsboro Police Department in 2015, Coleman oversaw the daily operations of the department, the city said in a statement.

Hillsboro City Manager Robby Hammond praised Coleman in an email to city employees following the announcement of his selection, saying he has had the opportunity to work closely with Coleman since he became interim chief.

"Chief Coleman has done an outstanding job serving our community, and I have appreciated his communication style, humility, and strong advocacy for the department," Hammond said. "He has demonstrated a strong desire to find ways to better connect with our community as we continue to grow and become even more diverse."

Coleman was first acquainted with the Hillsboro Police Department when came to the city to facilitate a leadership development program, he said in a statement. He was not considering leaving Salt Lake City at the time, but the "atmosphere and energy of the community" motivated him to pursue the role of deputy chief in Hillsboro, Coleman said.

"Together with my wife, a teacher in the Hillsboro School District, and my daughter, a graduate of Liberty High School, along with the support of my adult son, we have come to appreciate our good fortune in being a part of the Hillsboro community. We could not be more excited about being a continuing part of what we have come to know as home," he said. "I've come to understand the tremendous value the Police Department and its members place on attracting a diverse set of abilities and background to build an adaptable and cohesive team."

Coleman said he is ready to make progress on building trust with all communities, using data-driven safety and crime solutions, emergency and natural disaster response capabilities and issues such as homelessness.

The city recently announced that the police department will soon start a new community policing initiative, which will focus on building relationships between officers and community members, particularly those who have been historically underserved.

Sgt. Eric Bunday, spokesperson for the Hillsboro Police Department, said the department's decision to begin the initiative was a direct result of Coleman's efforts.

Coleman is widely respected by officers at all levels of the department, Bunday said.

"He is a humble, patient leader who is thoughtful and reflective," Bunday said. "He's someone who doesn't demand respect, but commands it. We are excited to see where he takes us as an organization. We're definitely in good hands."

Max Egener
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