After 26 years with the department, Friday was the final day on the job for Brighton Police Chief Rob Bradford.
Bradford officially retired after five years in the position. At Thursday’s city council meeting, Mayor Kris Tobbe presented Bradford with a proclamation commending his service and noted that he had been an instrumental part of the law enforcement community both in Livingston County and the City of Brighton.
“I don’t think that we could have asked for a better chief for the last few years,” said Tobbe. “It’s really impressive. The amount of cooperation, collaboration, and the amount of respect that you’ve earned for our department, both in the community and in the greater Livingston County community is something to stand proud on. And we are very, very proud of you for that.”
Bradford started his law enforcement career with the city of Clarkston in 1996, and while working for Clarkston also became a reserve officer in Brighton, eventually becoming a sergeant in 2007, deputy chief in 2014, and then the chief of police in 2017.
In that time he was a department field training officer, firearms instructor, active shooter instructor, a SWAT instructor, SWAT operator, SWAT team leader and team commander. He was also instrumental in forming the Livingston Regional SWAT team that consists of officer from Brighton, Green Oak Township, Howell, Hamburg Township and the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office. He was also named as Officer of the year in 2005,
For his part, Bradford said he would miss the friendships he had formed while on the force.
“I consider all you guys friends,” he said. “City council, you guys are all friends. You guys are all family. I don’t consider you guys coworkers. I’ve gotten to know so many of you. You guys are obviously new, but you, we get to know each other quick in this job. And you learn trust and you realize that you can respect, you have trust, and it just a great group of people, even the new guys who are sitting back there hiding in the corner,” which prompted laughter.
Bradford also noted that he was leaving the department in good hands, with Sgt. Brent Pirochta expected to be promoted to the position at the next council meeting.
Bradford also received a certificate of special congressional recognition from Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, which was presented by her Livingston County liaison, Mona Shand.