Following 25 years of law enforcement service to the city, Princeton Police Chief William “Bill” L. Harman will be retiring from his position early next year.

Harman announced he will be retiring from the department on Jan. 13 and then begin working as a bailiff in the courtroom of Mercer County Circuit Court Judge Omar Aboulhosn starting on Jan. 17. He has served as chief of the Princeton Police Department since 2006, following the retirement of Chief Casey Martin.

According to Harman, he will miss the people he has worked during his career at the police department.

“The people here are just like a family, not just the police force but the whole city,” Harman said. “It’s going to be a big change for me. I couldn’t imagine working for another department. The people, the police force, the city manager, the city council and just everyone have been wonderful to work with. It’s just been a wonderful experience across the board.”

After working 25 years for the force and reaching age 50, Harman said he was eligible for retirement.

“I’m still relatively young, so I thought I could work another job and get another retirement,” Harman said. “This job will be a lot less stressful and not as much responsibility, though the bailiff job still carries responsibility. Of course, it’s not as much responsibility as a police chief who has to supervise 24 people.”

Harman said there are some things he will miss about his job as chief.

“The best thing about this job is that you never know what to expect or what you’re going to do when you come into work,” he said. “No two days are the same. I always wore the same thing every day to work, so now I think the hardest thing will be deciding what to wear every morning.”

Princeton City Mayor Patricia Wilson said the city will be placing an advertisement for the position of chief, considering both applicants from within the Princeton City Police force and others.

“They have to run an ad for the position and then they will take applications,” Wilson said. “We will then do interviews and have the selection process. Once all of those are done, it is up to the city manager to make the final decision. We consider things like seniority, years on the force, experience and how well a person will work with the department before making our decision. It is commonplace for us to hire from within, but we don’t strictly hire from within.”

Wilson said Harman will be missed by city officials and others.

“I can’t commend him enough for the job he has done for this city,” Wilson said. “He is a super, super chief and we will miss him. It’s been a wonderful time, but we understand his reasons for leaving. He said that it will be hard for him to go, and we hate to see him go. We just wish him the best.”

City Manager Wayne Shumate echoed Wilson’s sentiments.

“He has done a wonderful job and has been a great leader for the city,” Shumate said. “His many accomplishments are to be complimented.”

— Contact Kate Coil at

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