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Blacksburg’s next police chief worked his way up

February 4, 2014 | Virginia News

News Image Blacksburg police Capt. Anthony Wilson never planned on becoming a police officer.

But after six years in the Marine Corps, Wilson, who was working in agriculture at the time, missed the camaraderie. That longing for a team atmosphere landed him in a firehouse — and eventually, in the midnight shift as a patrol officer for the Blacksburg Police Department.

Sixteen years later, Wilson has been selected as the town’s next police chief, succeeding Chief Kim Crannis, who announced her retirement plans late last year.

Wilson, 52, will begin his duties as chief on March 1.

In a news release sent out Friday morning, Town Manager Marc Verniel said that through a competitive search process, it became clear that Wilson “is the right individual to lead” the department.

“Anthony demonstrates strength, professionalism, compassion, experience, and an overall love of this community,” Verniel was quoted as saying. “These are the characteristics of a great Police Chief.”

Wilson, a Blacksburg native, said he was relieved when he found out late Thursday afternoon that he had been selected.

“I was really excited that I was the candidate that they chose and that the town manager had full confidence that we could produce someone in-house who could take over and do as good of a job as the two chiefs who have been here before me,” said Wilson, who will earn $96,000 in his new position.

Wilson began his career at the Blacksburg Police Department in 1997. He had already graduated from Blacksburg High School, dropped out of New River Community College to join the Marines and returned to Blacksburg to attend Virginia Tech.

After graduating from Tech in 1990 with a degree in agriculture, Wilson worked at a cattle operation — eventually quitting and taking a 50 percent pay cut to join the police department. ...

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