Burnsville police chief will retire this year
Hawkins is homegrown cop
Bob Hawkins, a homegrown cop and Burnsville’s police chief for the last eight years, will retire Dec. 19.
Hawkins, 52, is Burnsville’s fifth chief, second in tenure only to Mike DuMoulin, who was chief for 25 years. Hawkins replaced DuMoulin’s successor, Dave Farrington.
Hawkins’ successor will likely come from the ranks of the department’s two captains.
Capt. Eric Werner is one of three finalists for the police chief job in Rosemount. Burnsville’s other captain is Eric Gieseke.
“I think Eric (Werner) would be a wonderful chief for Rosemount and would love to see him get that job,” Hawkins said Wednesday.
Gieseke “would be a wonderful chief for the city of Burnsville,” Hawkins said.
A 1978 graduate of Burnsville High School, Hawkins joined the department 25 years ago after serving as a military police canine handler in the Army and as a police canine officer in Eagan.
“It’s been such a good journey for me,” Hawkins said of his 30-year civilian police career. “But I am a true believer it’s a young man’s, young woman’s profession. My style is I’ve always been very passionate, very giving. And it’s time for us to get some fresh blood in there. I’m still young enough that I can continue to work and do whatever I like, but I’m also a grandfather for the first time as well.”
His father, Robert Sr., was special education director and a principal in School District 191, finishing his career at Vista View Elementary. His mother, Jackie, was a special education teacher, mostly at Sioux Trail Elementary.
“For me, it has been such a privilege and an honor to be able to give back to the community that quite frankly helped raise me,” said Hawkins, who lives in Credit River. “I have such a strong passion for Burnsville. I’ve been a part of this community for over 48 years.”
Hawkins has received the department’s Distinguished Service Award twice and its Meritorious Service Award three times. He launched a program called BLUE to build connections between police and local schools.
Before being promoted from sergeant to chief in 2004, his assignments included teaching DARE in the schools and serving as youth relations officer at the high school.
He’s president of the Dakota County Chiefs of Police Association and will be inducted into the Burnsville High Hall of Fame on Aug. 25.