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Morongo’s Longtime Tribal Patrol Chief Lauded at Retirement

Levine's Retirement

A winner of the national Police Chief of the Year award, Chief Mike Levine spent 21 years protecting residents and guests the Morongo Indian Reservation.

MORONGO INDIAN RESERVATION, Calif. – Longtime Morongo Tribal Patrol Chief Mike Levine retired this week after a 21-year career of protecting residents and guests at the Morongo Indian Reservation. 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my more than two decades at Morongo, working with a Tribal Council that has been extremely supportive and forward-thinking in regards to public safety,” Levine said. “I will miss the men and women of my department, and the many tribal members whom I have come to know and respect over the years.”

Hired in 1997 at Morongo, Levine worked his way up the ranks and was promoted to chief of the 37-member Tribal Patrol in 2004. The law enforcement unit serves the reservation and its residents, as well as tribal business enterprises.

Levine was named the Police Chief of the Year in 2014 by the National Native American Law Enforcement Association, the nation’s premier tribal law enforcement organization.

Levine's Retirement

“Chief Levine has served Morongo and our guests with honor and professionalism for more than 20 years. From his reliability to his leadership to the care with which he  approached his job, Mike always held himself to the highest standards,” Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin said. “We are truly grateful for his service to Morongo.”

Martin was among more than 150 tribal leaders, tribal members, staff and dignitaries who recognized Levine at a retirement banquet held in his honor at the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa on January 18. Those attending included Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff, City of Banning Police Chief Alex Diaz, City of Beaumont Police Chief Sean Thuilliez, and numerous other members of the region’s law enforcement community.

Among his many accomplishments at Morongo, Levine formed strong new partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the Banning Police Department, the California Highway Patrol and the Riverside County District Attorney’s office.

Levine was one of 12 police chiefs from across the U.S. selected to develop and revise the national active shooter policy which is currently being taught at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia. He has also been involved for many years in programs aimed at combatting domestic violence.

Prior to his career in law enforcement, Levine had joined the U.S. Air Force in 1971 where he spent two of the next four years in military service overseas. After being honorably discharged in 1975, he reenlisted with the U.S. Army Reserve a year later as a crew chief and door gunner on Huey helicopters.

Following his honorable discharge in 1979, Levine’s exemplary career included time with the Los Angeles Police Department, as the owner and founder of two dignitary protection services, and as a police commissioner appointed by the Desert Hot Springs City Council to help create the city’s Police Department.

Morongo is currently conducting a nationwide search for a new chief.


Photo 1:  Morongo Tribal Patrol Chief Mike Levine

Photo 2:  Longtime Morongo Tribal Patrol Chief Mike Levine celebrates his retirement with the Morongo Tribal Council this week, including (left to right) Tribal Chairman Robert Martin, Council Member Anne Robinson, Chief Mike Levine, Vice Chair Mary Ann Andreas, Council Member John Muncy and Council Member James Siva.