After 34 years, Missouri City Police Chief Mike Berezin is retiring.

Berezin's retirement was announced in an April 19 news release from Missouri City and by the City Council at its regular April 17 meeting.

Berezin was hired as a patrolman in 1989 and rose to chief of police in 2014.

According to the release, Berezin spearheaded former President Barack Obama's Task Force Report on 21st Century Policing. Berezin has put a focus on community involvement and engagement between the police and community.

During his time as chief of police, Berezin led efforts in the following projects, the release said.
  • Develop the department’s first police mini-station
  • Establish the initial motorcycle traffic enforcement unit
  • Promote transparency for Missouri City police policies and procedures by ensuring they are readily available on the city’s website
  • Publish a comprehensive annual report with detailed crime statistics, arrest information and a demographic breakdown of the bureau of police
  • Protect a city that has experienced exponential growth over the last 34 years
“It has been an honor to serve alongside some of the finest people the Lord has ever created," Berezin is quoted as saying in the release. "I shall always remain grateful for the privilege of sharing my professional life’s journey with you.”

Berezin's last day as police chief will be May 19. The city did not state who will serve as acting chief.

An awkward exit

Berezin's retirement comes at a difficult time for Missouri City, which faces its lowest retention rates in decades as well as a 19-person officer shortage due largely to noncompetitive pay. According to a study from the Missouri City Police Officers Association, the city pays approximately $10,000 less than area cities for starting positions.

The city squared the blame as a national problem in an April 6 news release, citing a 2023 survey conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum that found an 18% overall increase in resignations in 2020-21, compared to 2019-20. In that same time frame, resignations increased by 45%.

In that same April 6 news release, the city described a 10% raise provided to all civil service employees, the creation of six new positions within the police department and the allocation of $2.4 million for a salary survey, expected to be presented to the City Council by May 1 or later. The city also pointed out its $10,000 first-year sign-on bonus and a focusing on employee retention and hiring.

The first meet and confer meeting between the Missouri City Police Officers Association and Missouri City was held April 19 to establish its rules and scope of procedure. It will meet again on April 24 to fully dive into bargaining discussions.