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Cullin Bell, 4, accepts a hammer from Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner as they build a bug house during Projects with a Cop at the Jefferson Street Community House last September. Heffner has been nominated for the position of U.S. marshal for the Central District of Illinois.

BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner has been nominated by President Donald Trump to be the next U.S. marshal for the central district of Illinois.

The announcement was made Tuesday on as part of the President’s fifth wave of nominations of marshal candidates.

“The United States marshal performs essential functions of protecting the federal judiciary by apprehending fugitives, transporting prisoners and protecting witnesses,” read a statement from the White House. “These candidates share the president’s vision for ‘Making America Safe Again.’”

Heffner was one of six nominees to fill appointments and one of two from Illinois. Bradley Maxwell, the St. Louis manager and chief of Uniform Security for Boeing in St. Louis, was nominated for the same post in the southern district of Illinois.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth congratulated both.

“Through many years of service to Illinois, Brendan Heffner and Bradley Maxwell have demonstrated strong qualifications to serve as United States marshals,” said the Democratic senators in a joint statement. “We expect them to serve with professionalism, responsibility, and a clear focus on the mission of the marshals service. We look forward to seeing their nominations through the Senate.”

Heffner confirmed the nomination Tuesday afternoon but did not return calls seeking more comment.

“While I am honored to have received this nomination, it still must be voted on and approved by the Senate,” he said in a statement released by the Bloomington Police Department on Tuesday.

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said he had been aware of the possible nomination but does not know exactly what the timeline will be.

“Chief Heffner has done an outstanding job in our community as police chief and before that, even as a Normal police officer,” he said. “This nomination isn’t too surprising and we are very proud of him. It’s an outstanding honor. We would love to keep him, but we understand this is too important to pass up and we wish him best of luck on the nomination.”

Bloomington hired Heffner, 58, in September 2013. The Illinois State University graduate worked as a patrolman and detective with the Normal police department, retired in 2010 from the Illinois State Police's division of internal investigation and was working as a safety and security specialist for State Farm at the time he became chief.

Heffner will be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Durbin is a member. If the committee approves, the nomination will go to the full Senate for consideration.

Republican U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis of Taylorville and Darin LaHood of Dunlap congratulated Heffner on the nomination in a joint statement released Tuesday.

“It is our belief that he will make an excellent U.S. marshal and serve our country well, just as he’s served the Bloomington-Normal community and the state of Illinois for more than 30 years,” they said.

“There is no doubt he will do well,” said Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner. “Given his history with the Illinois State Police and his leadership with the Bloomington Police Department, I look forward to working with him in that capacity.”

The U.S. Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest and most versatile federal law enforcement agency, according to U.S. Marshals historian David Turk. There are 94 U.S. marshals, one for each federal court district, and more than 43,000 deputy marshals and criminal investigators.

Follow Kevin Barlow on Twitter: @pg_barlow


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