An era is coming to a close. Deputy Chief Mike Cressman retires today after 40.5 years with the Westminster Police Department. Deputy Chief Mike Cressman started his Law Enforcement career with the Westminster Police Department in June of 1977. Prior to that, he served as a Military Police Officer in the US Army in Germany and earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of Florida.
During the four decades of his career at Westminster PD, Mike served as a Police Officer, Senior Police Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Investigations Sergeant, Patrol Lieutenant, Traffic Lieutenant, Investigations Lieutenant, SWAT Team member, SWAT Team Leader, and SWAT Team Commander. He was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2006, and holds this position today.
Mike has made several significant contributions to the Westminster Police Department that will leave a lasting legacy. In the 1980’s, Mike served as the PD’s Field Training Coordinator and restructured the program into the “competency based” format that is still used today. During his time as a SWAT Team Leader, he was instrumental in establishing a leadership foundation that values a team-focused mentality and is still essential to the team’s operational and tactical success. In 1998, he revived the PD’s K9 program, which had been inactive for several years, and helped establish the modern-day K9 unit that we have today. He also served as a Field Training Officer, a Driving Instructor, and a Physical Fitness Instructor. He has been awarded the Police Department’s Meritorious Service Medal, the Medal of Valor and the Purple Heart.
In 1994, Mike graduated in the 179th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He is currently a member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the FBI National Academy Associates and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He coached baseball at Erie High School for ten years, and coached many years of youth football, baseball, and basketball within the Erie community.
Mike has two sons, both of whom have followed in his footsteps of public service in Westminster. One is a Paramedic for the Fire Department, and the other is a K9 Officer for the Police Department.
Mike has always expected professional police performance from his staff, and in turn has supported them when he knew they were being honest and trying their best. When discussing his many career experiences, he continually called attention to the accomplishments of others, stating, “The successes I’ve had can be seen through the successes of everyone around me.” The Westminster Police Department has been fortunate to have a leader like Mike who has carried on the organization’s tradition of professionalism, despite handling many demanding and difficult situations over the years.
Best of luck in your retirement! Enjoy!