Assistant police chief Andy Latham retires

Courtesy photo of Assistant Police Chief Andy Latham from the Mount Pleasant Police Department.

The Mount Pleasant Police Department is undergoing some changes.

Assistant Police Chief Andy Latham will retire from the force Nov. 4, according to a press release by the MPPD. Lieutenant Brandon Bliss has been promoted to assistant police chief and will assume his duties Nov. 6. 

After 26 years with the department, Latham has held different ranks of officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and assistant chief.  

Latham had also served a wide variety of special assignments such as Isabella County traffic team, bayanet, Youth Services Unit, and the Mt. Pleasant Fire Technical Rescue Team.  Along the line of accomplishments, he had also worked as motor operator, arson investigator and commander of the Emergency Services Unit.

“There is much to celebrate with these recent personnel changes." Chief Paul Lauria said, "It is wonderful to witness a dedicated and successful law enforcement official like Assistant Police Chief Latham achieve retirement. His commitment to our profession and department is truly appreciated and we thank him for his service.To have the ability to promote a highly qualified individual like Brandon Bliss up through the departmental ranks to fill the role of assistant police chief. He will do well in his new role.”

Since joining the department in 2008, Bliss had shown a strong work ethic and dedication to the force, Chief Lauria said. 

Latham said he took immense pride in serving his community by organizing MPPD volunteer activities such as Toys for Tots, Shop with a Cop and Christmas outreach. He also helped community resources by working with the Strickler Center food pantry and preparing and serving food for the Isabella County Restoration House. 

After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice administration from Columbia Southern University, Latham graduated from the Grand Rapids Police Executive Leadership Institute and the FBI National Academy.

“I am very fortunate to have spent my career at the MPPD." Latham said, “I have been encouraged and motivated to refine and grow my skill set.”

Officer Bliss has spent 14 of his 17-year-long career as an officer working with the MPPD. Within his time at the department, Bliss had held the positions of lieutenant, sergeant, Youth Services Unit Officer, team leader for the Emergency Services Team and lead sergeant for the Field Training Program, and held union leadership roles with the Police Officers Association of Michigan and the Command Officers Association of Michigan.

“There have been many exemplary leaders at the MPPD over the years." Officer Bliss said, "I look forward to carrying on that long tradition of excellence. I am even more excited to help and support a great group of officers who serve our community in multiple ways, with integrity, pride and compassion.”

Bliss obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Saginaw Valley State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Central Michigan University.

After retirement, Latham plans to spend his time assuming the role of Dean of students and the athletic director at Sacred Heart Academy in Mt. Pleasant, according to the press release. 

“I have had the pleasure of working with many noble men and women over the decades." Latham said, "Our community is fortunate to have a Division of Public Safety populated with men and women who are courageous, caring and are deserving of continued gratitude and support. As I retire from the law enforcement profession, I do so with great memories, lasting friendships, and no regrets. It has been my pleasure to serve the Mt. Pleasant community alongside a talented and committed Public Safety team.”