Chief Mike Fort has announced his intent to retire after 6 years with the Battle Ground Police Department, effective January 2024.
“Given that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I found it a fitting time to announce my retirement from law enforcement,” stated Chief Fort. With those close to him, Chief Fort has been open about his family’s personal battle with cancer. Although the decision to leave the profession and the colleagues he has enjoyed over his 32-year career, his recent personal experiences have made him realize just how short life can be and he intends to spend all his time with his wife and family.
City Manager Erin Erdman said, “Chief Fort is a compassionate and dedicated leader. He has expertly guided the men and women of the Battle Ground Police Department during his nearly four years as Chief and he will be greatly missed by everyone at the City of Battle Ground.”
Mike Fort joined the Battle Ground Police Department as a Lieutenant in 2018 before taking his oath of office as Chief of Police in February 2020. In his tenure as Chief, he has led the police department through an unprecedented global pandemic and an onslaught of National and Statewide police reforms all while staying focused on providing quality service to the Battle Ground community. With the support of the city’s administration and police department personnel, Chief Fort has increased the service to our local schools through the School Resource Officer Program, developed a Traffic Patrol Unit, doubled the service capacity in the Detectives Unit, and implemented a drone program. He has also been a key player in increasing regional access to advanced level training to ensure officers are equipped with the knowledge and skills essential to providing superior service to our respective communities while providing a more cost-effective solution to local agencies.
Chief Fort shared, “The past six years at the Battle Ground Police Department have been the most rewarding experience of my career. I have confidence that the members of BGPD will continue to optimize their expertise and talents as they continue to serve our community with the compassion and professionalism you have come to expect.” He added, “This is the best police department I have ever known. I will miss you all.”
The city has hired GMP Consultants who will be managing the recruitment process to select the next Chief of Police, with a first-round application review scheduled for October 29, 2023.