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Headley takes over as police chief in Bowman

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Headley takes over as police chief in Bowman
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

BOWMAN -- Charles Headley's law enforcement carrier spans over 25 years and several positions.

His professional journey brought him to Bowman, when he took over as the new chief of police on Monday.


"I love this area of the country," Headley said. "I've just been awestruck, I love the wide-open spaces."

Headley takes over for former Chief of Police Keith King, who left the position earlier this year.

A Nebraska native, Headley knew he wanted to be a police officer since a young age.

"I was probably as young as 10 years old I think, I was probably in the fourth grade when I made the decision that that's what I wanted to do," Headley said.

Headley had a good role model to aspire to be like as well. His father, Charles F., was a state patrolman for the state of Nebraska in the 50s and 60s, and then a sheriff in Hall County, Nebraska, for eight years in the 70s.

After high school, Headley attended the Nebraska Law Enforcement Academy, where he excelled and was the president of his class.

Headley's first job was as a patrolman in Aurora, Neb., and was awarded officer of the year honors twice from 1982-1990.

Law enforcement can be scary work, especially with some of the things you have to deal with Headley said, but in the end the good outweighs the bad.

"By far, it can often be said that law enforcement is 90 percent pure boredom and the other 10 percent is pure terror," Headley said. "And I think that's probably true."

Following his time in Aurora he moved onto Grand Island, Neb., where he worked as a patrolman and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officer for four to five years before working his way up to an investigator position.

In 1998, Headley returned to Aurora and took the chief of police position there.

While in Aurora, he was accepted into an academy held at Quantico Air Force base, which was hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"That was quite an honor to be accepted into that," Headley said.

Headley said the topics covered at the school helped improve his jobs skills, but the networking that occurred with other law enforcement professionals was the most invaluable part.

"Not only the educational aspect was top notch, but the opportunity to be able to network and get to know people," Headley said, adding that he has called people he met while in the academy for advice on how to handle certain situations.

In 2006, Headley felt an itch to try something new and began a turkey ranch in Nebraska, but his love of law enforcement pulled him back.

"I had just gotten to a point in my life where I wanted to try something new," Headley said. "Everyone said that I would miss law enforcement and I did."

When Headley started looking for jobs he focused his search around the Upper Midwest.

Following his acceptance of the Bowman position, Headley has moved to the community with his family. He sees Bowman as a good fit for him and his family.

"I just love the country," Headley said. "It has that kind of romantic Old West appeal and that's something that has always appealed to me. ...If you love the outdoors, man, you're in the right neck of the woods."

Angela, Headley's wife, is a licensed mortician, but will be staying home while they get settled with their five children; Brody, 5, their two-year-old triplets, Sophia, Hadley and Anna and one-year-old Olivia.

Headley has two other sons from a previous marriage; Reece, 20, who serves in the Air Force and is stationed in Las Vegas, and Blake, 15, who lives in Aurora.

Headley said the people of Bowman have been very welcoming and he's surprised every day by what the town has to offer.

"I'm impressed daily by what this community has to offer," Headley said. "Every day you turn the corner and you find a new gem. ...The people are great here."