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Longtime South Hill police chief to retire

June 28, 2016 | Virginia News

News Image After 47 years in law enforcement, South Hill Police Chief Norman J. Hudson plans to hang up his badge for retirement. His last day will be July 30.

Mayor Earl Horne made the announcement at the end of Monday night’s meeting of the South Hill Town Council.

Hudson joined the South Hill Police Department as chief in 1984 after spending 15 years in law enforcement in Richmond.

“This has been a great job. The town has been good to me,” said Hudson. There was no one event that prompted Hudson to announce his retirement: “I just really decided it was time.”

Horne, who worked with Hudson during his tenure, said he was not surprised by Hudson’s decision. “I hated to see it, but I understand.”

The mayor lauded Hudson for his work, saying, “I couldn’t have asked for a better chief of police. He had the greatest dedication, always going beyond that extra mile to make the citizens safe. During his time, he hired some of the best officers. I believe we have one of the best, if not the best, police departments in southern Virginia.”

Horne and Hudson had an especially close working relationship because South Hill is one of only three towns in Virginia where the chief of police is appointed by and answers directly to the mayor.

“Times have changed and I felt it was time for us to change as well. We are only one of three towns where the Mayor could walk in and fire the police chief at will. It’s [the amendment of the town charter] been approved by the General Assembly.” As of July 1, the police chief will answer to the Town Manager, but only after his or her hiring is approved by Town Council.

In addition to his duties as chief, Hudson has served on the board of the Central Virginia Police Training Academy in Lynchburg since 1991 and as chair of the board since 2009.

“I’ve enjoyed being able to work with the men and women going through training,” he said.

In 2014, in celebration of his then-nearly 46 years in law enforcement, Fifth District Congressman Robert Hurt and Virginia Del. T. Scott Garrett of Lynchburg presented Hudson with a United States flag that has flown over the Capitol in Washington.

“It’s been a good 47 years,” said Hudson, adding he plans to spend retirement traveling and tending to his horses, cows, goats and dogs on his farm.

Hudson said he will not be involved in picking his successor. That job will fall to the Mayor, at least until his retirement on June 30, and to Town Manager Kim Callis and members of Town Council.

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