Eric Bullen, a veteran with the Minneapolis Police Department and with both Albertville and St. Michael fire departments, was sworn in this week as the City of Albertville’s first-ever full-time fire chief.
Bullen, who is a K-9 officer for MPD, will slowly transition out of his role with the police department in the state’s largest city. He’ll balance both jobs, meeting conditions agreed upon by the fire department and the City of Albertville, as he leaves his police post.
Bullen was sworn in by City Clerk Kim Olson Thursday, April 10, prior to the AFD weekly training meeting.
The Albertville City Council and city staff made finding a full-time chief a priority for the 2015 budget year due to growth in both Albertville and the City of Otsego, which contracts with Albertville for fire protection. Otsego’s areas north of the Albertville Premium Outlets (70th Street Northeast) and to the east are growing with new development, and the department’s average call number is tipping more and more to those areas.
Albertville announced Bullen’s hiring last month. He was selected among a field of candidates, and one of two finalists.
Former chief Tate Mills will remain on the department staff list. He’s been assisting Bullen with the transition to the top spot. Mills served as department chief – though on an on-call basis – for several years.