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Outgoing Williamsburg police chief reflects on service

December 31, 2016 | Virginia News

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Virginia Gazette
Dave Sloggie gave four decades to police work, and he's retiring from the Williamsburg Police Department this week. Though he's made a career working in Williamsburg, advancing through the police department was not something he planned on at first.

"I don't think there was any magic moment. It had to be somewhere around 13 or 14, where I realized I had to behave myself," Sloggie said. "I don't think there was a magic moment, I just grew on me as I kept doing it."

In his absence, the city plans to pay a firm to find viable candidates to be Sloggie's long-term replacement. The firm has not been named yet.

Deputy chief Andrew Barker will step into the interim chief role until a permanent replacement is found.

Barker, and the eventual replacement for Sloggie, will lead a department that is starting to equip officers with body cameras. The initiative, while polarizing among the community and officers, is one that is being adopted by departments across the country.

Well before body cameras became standard-issue equipment, Sloggie remembers an interaction that affirmed his path toward becoming an officer. While attending Thomas Nelson Community College after high school, Sloggie met two Hampton officers.

He considered one of them very professional and the other rather shoddy. The dichotomy there helped him know he was on the right career path.

"I started thinking I really want to carry myself like that good guy," he said.

Despite growing up in Newport News, Williamsburg is a place Sloggie knew well, even before he started working for the city.

"(My family) used to come out here all the time. I was in the 1968 Christmas Parade playing the drums in high school," he said.

Williamsburg became a nationally accredited police force in 1987 and stayed that way under Sloggie, who has been its chief since 2010. Just 3 percent of the police departments in the country are nationally accredited.

"Williamsburg is a progressive city with a modern police force that is anchored by its strong leadership, inclusive community spirit, and commitment to its CALEA accreditation standards," City Manager Marvin Collins said.

Now that he's fulfilled his duty, Sloggie says he is open to other professional opportunities as they arise. What's he really looking forward to, he said, is more time with his family.

"I have grandkids," he said. "I plan on playing a lot of golf, maybe doing a lot of fishing, and spending some time with them."

Wright can be reached by phone at 757-345-2343.

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