Foley police chief retiring at the end of August

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FOLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — Foley Police Chief David Wilson announced Monday he will be retiring at the end of this month.

“I have an opportunity to retire and come back and work part time as the Training Specialist for the City of Foley. I am very excited about this opportunity. I can stay a part of Team Foley and continue to help move The Forward City forward but in a different role – a part time role,” Wilson stated in a Facebook post.

Read the full post below:

A message from Chief David Wilson

I didn’t mean for this to be so long but how do you talk about 37 years as a law man when retiring? How do you say goodbye?

I will be sending this out a few different ways so I can reach the many people who have touched my life and a city and police department that is so dear to me.

I have a little less than 30 days as the Foley Police Chief. I have an opportunity to retire and come back and work part time as the Training Specialist for the City of Foley. I am very excited about this opportunity. I can stay a part of Team Foley and continue to help move The Forward City forward but in a different role – a part time role.

Of course I will keep teaching leadership courses with my side business that I’ve had for a few years now.

13 years ago I had the greatest opportunity to leave a fine Police Dept, Daphne Police Department, where I worked 16 years. I worked with fine officers and employees there, and then came to Foley to take over as Foley’s 6th police chief. I left Daphne as a Captain and Daphne Mayor Fred Small and City Council gave me the “Key to the City” award on my way out which I will always cherish.

As a Captain I had a blast working for Chief David Carpenter. He and I had came up through the ranks together and then I got to lead alongside him and work for him when he made Chief.

Chief Joseph Hall was my police chief when I first got to Daphne PD and was my mentor and still is. He raised me in law enforcement and is who made me into the cop I am. Captain Charlie McNichol showed me what community oriented policing meant as I rose through the ranks. That was critical in my career and I used community oriented policing the rest of my career.

Coming to Foley was the best thing I could’ve ever hoped for. Mayor John Koniar and Council welcomed me along with City Administrator Perry Wilbourne and HR Director Sandra Pate with such a great welcome. I was so glad to be there later when we welcomed the next City Administrator Mike Thompson and then work closely with Mike and Team Foley.

For the members of the Foley Police Department. Covid has not allowed large gatherings so I cannot say goodbye to all of you at once. This is my goodbye to you.

Foley PD, you know where we were and you know what we did together. Never forget that. Never forget where you came from and always stay in humble appreciation for what the Lord did with us. You men and women are true law-enforcement professionals. The highest honor I have had in my long career has been to be called your Chief.

As I bring my happy career to a close, I do so at a great time. Foley PD – you are fiscally sound. You are professional, productive, and polite (until you don’t need to be polite anymore ). You are a highly efficient, highly effective community oriented Police Dept. You are great crime fighters and you serve your community so well. Your community loves you and you love them right back.

We have no vacancies across-the-board. We have a great leadership team and we have other great leaders standing by on promotion lists. They are ready to move up one notch and promote and go to work as police leaders at different levels. With me leaving before these promotion lists expire there will be quite a bit of upward movement and promotions across the board. That’s a great thing.

For our dispatchers, you are the “lifeline” within the thin blue line. For our correction officers you are the lockdown within the thin blue line and for all of our other employees including our admin employees and my man James we just cannot do our job without you all. You have been a joy!

Foley PD, I’m so very proud of all of you. I will always love each and every one of you – all 97 of you.

I will take you with me in my heart for the rest of my days.

Thank you Randy Bishop for answering my call to come help Lt David White and me when I first came over. You were an awesome Deputy Chief at Foley PD and earned your honorable retirement my friend. We could not have done what we did early on without you. You are still spoke about very favorably at the department and you’ve been retired a number of years now

To our spouses. You are the true heroes behind the badge. You keep us strong when we have weak moments. You keep us centered. Thank you for being you.

For my command staff: you guys are great and I know that there’s nothing else I can show you, train you, lead you or develop you on. You developed me as I developed you and we grew together.

You guys are a great Leadership Team. You guys are ready and I’m so excited to see you take this agency into the next era. You guys have been ready for awhile now. Go For It !!! I will be proudly watching you.

This is a very good changing of the guard. Effective Sept 1, Police Chief Thurston Bullock with Deputy Chief Kevin Carnley, Lt Shawn Miller, Lt Tony Fuqua, Lt Glenn Hartenstein and Lt Larry Dearing gives Foley an unstoppable command staff who I have full confidence in and great peace knowing this team is in place.

For my wife, Denise Wilson, who’s been there with me side by side through great events and rough events as we served our our department, law enforcement, and our community – thank you my love. I look forward to more time with you and the kids. I could not have done this without you. You are the love of my life.

For my grown children and my teenage children and the many events I missed during your childhoods, I am so sorry for when the job pulled me from you. I hope I was able to make up for it later. You are the reason we cops still keep at it – to keep our communities safe for our children and all people’s children. I’m so proud of each of you.

Daddy. Thank you for being the example you have been as a father. You showed me that you love your family most of all and you are to take care of your family no matter what. Thank you for being our Rock of Gibraltar.

To the CITY Of FOLEY: I don’t have the words to describe what it’s like working with you and for you. This is such a great community and City with such an honorable group of public servants and fellow employees. What a great place to live. We have the best elected officials and honest public servants who have been my distinct pleasure to work for.

Thank you for the support you give to your police department. I was always a blessed chief working with you guys. I could not have hoped for better city leaders and we could not have done what we did without your support and leadership.

To the citizens and businesses of Foley: we love you. Thank you so much for making me and my family feel at home from day one, thirteen years ago. You truly are now home! We love it here and we love you.

Fellow officers: If I served with you as an Air Force cop, a San Angelo Texas cop, Daphne Cop or Foley Cop or one of the many, many committees and law-enforcement teams and task forces over the years – what a blast and what a good run we had together in the best career field there is. I will always think of you and will always cherish our work together.

To the best job in the whole world- which is law-enforcement. You men and women run towards gunfire. You law-enforcement officers will always be my true heroes. You put your life on the line every day for strangers and citizens. You are in the best job in the whole world and never forget it. Hold your head up high and remember you are a cop!

The overall vast majority of cops are cops because they get to help people. Even people who hate us will call 911 when they themselves are facing danger. We know that. We’re going to roll out and we’re going to get between you and that danger. We lose cops doing it. Freedom isn’t free -it comes at a great cost. To my law enforcement brothers and sisters … I salute you. Press on!

The Lord Jesus Christ is who I want to close this post with. Jesus is not my copilot- He is not the most important thing in my life… He IS my life. He is my every day and He is my up and He’s there for me in my downs. I’m so very thankful for the hedge of protection He has kept around me in the 37 years as a cop with the many close calls I’ve had and even from injuries while fighting people. Romans 13 describes our job but I’m so thankful that He answered my prayer – my daily prayer to keep the officers I’ve worked with my whole career safe from death in the line of duty. Thank you for keeping all my employees safe from death with the Covid also. Most of all thank you you for redeeming this sinner.

As I start down these last 30 days as the Foley Police Chief, let me say God bless you all – God bless America and God bless the law enforcement officers throughout our nation.

Foley Police Chief David Wilson. Aug 2020

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