Alumni Stories: Mike Bertelsen
City of Azuza Police Department | Chief of Police
Chief Mike Bertelsen grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and has worked his way through the ranks of the Azusa Police Department. He began his career when he was hired by Azusa PD as a jailer in 1994. After working in the jail for a year, Chief Bertelsen applied for the position of police officer trainee. He was successful in the testing process and attended the Rio Hondo Police Academy in Whittier, graduating in August 1995.
Special Assignments and Duties
In addition to working as a jailer and patrol officer, Chief Bertelsen has worked a collection of special assignments, including field training officer, property crimes detective, gang crimes detective, patrol sergeant, patrol lieutenant, detective lieutenant, operations division captain, and administrative division captain.
During his career Chief Bertelsen also worked a variety of collateral duty assignments, such as explorer advisor, citizen's academy instructor, Azusa Golden Days liaison, terrorism liaison officer, community service officer/police aide supervisor, social media team supervisor, field training officer manager, and reserve police officer coordinator.
An Innovative Approach to Enforcement
While working as the gang detective, Chief Bertelsen created a Gang Specialist Unit to provide greater gang intervention, prevention, and enforcement in the community. The program was very successful, eventually evolving into the department’s current Crime Suppression Team. It is a core component in keeping residents, business owners, and visitors safe in the community.
The Medal of Courage
In 2004, Chief Bertelsen was awarded the Riverside County Sheriff's Department's Medal of Courage. While off duty, Chief Bertelsen assisted deputies in apprehending a combative suspect that was armed with a handgun. Thanks to his assistance, the suspect was safely arrested.
A Proponent of Higher Education and Community Outreach
Chief Bertelsen holds an associate degree in Administration of Justice from Mt. SAC, a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Cal Poly Pomona, and a master’s degree in Organizational Management from Azusa Pacific University. He believes in being a lifelong learner and regularly attends training to continue his professional growth.
Chief Bertelsen is also a strong supporter of community outreach efforts by law enforcement. He believes it is absolutely necessary for the Azusa Police Department to have strong partnerships with the community. It is through these partnerships, communication and community engagement that the Azusa Police Department will continue to successfully support the City of Azusa.