The Operations Bureau is commanded by Major Mark F. Heckler, Assistant Chief of Police. Assistant Chief Heckler is responsible for providing the leadership and oversight for the following areas that comprise the Operations Bureau: all six police precincts, the Police Chaplain Unit, and the Special Operations Section which includes the Animal Services Unit, Traffic Enforcement Unit, K9 Unit, Warrant Unit, Crime Prevention/CPTED Unit, SWAT Team, Underwater Search & Recovery Team, Marine Patrol Unit, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Team, and Specialty Response Vehicles Unit.
The primary focus of the Operations Bureau is to partner with citizens and other City Departments to identify, prioritize and solve contemporary problems such as crime, fear of crime, illegal drugs, and neighborhood decay to keep Chesapeake the finest city in Virginia in which to live, learn, work, farm, and play.
Assistant Chief Heckler is a native of Virginia Beach and a 1987 graduate of Frank W. Cox High School. He has been a police officer since 1996, first serving with the Hampton Police Division, and, since 1999, has served with the Chesapeake Police Department. During his career, Assistant Chief Heckler has served in Patrol Operations, Vice & Narcotics, and Support. As a collateral duty, he was a SWAT Team member for fourteen years serving as an Operator, Explosive Breacher, Team Leader, and Commanding Officer.
Assistant Chief Heckler assumed command of the Operations Bureau in October 2022 and had served as Support Bureau Commander since his promotion in September 2020. As a captain, his commands included the Fifth Precinct, the Support Section, and the Fourth Precinct. Assistant Chief Heckler serves as the law enforcement representative on the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) affiliated Hampton Roads All-Hazards Advisory Committee, he is a former member of the Hampton Roads Incident Management Team and has previously served as Chesapeake Animal Services Liaison and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center Liaison. As a citizen-volunteer, he serves as Chairman of the Chesapeake Land Bank Authority Citizen Advisory Committee.
Assistant Chief Heckler’s commendations include the Chesapeake Police Academy’s Top Boot Award, City Star Performer Award, Drug Arrest Incentive Award, two Chief’s Letters of Commendation, two Outstanding Teamwork Awards, and the Meritorious Police Service Award.
Assistant Chief Heckler is a graduate of the 247th Session of the FBI National Academy and the 50th Session of the Professional Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University, a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Education from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma.