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Path to police chief: Wytheville native chosen to lead Louisa’s police force

September 11, 2012 | Virginia News

A small town in central Virginia has tapped a Wythe County native and former state trooper to lead its police force. Jessie Shupe became the police chief of Louisa on Aug. 10.

β€œI love it,” Shupe said. β€œIt is really great to give back to the community where you live and help the process grow, as a department and as a community.”


A 2001 graduate of George Wythe High School, Shupe graduated from Wytheville Community College with a degree in police science.

He started his law enforcement career in 2001 as a part-time parking enforcement officer for the Wytheville Police Department. He joined the department full time the next year, working in parking enforcement and dispatching.

“I was very blessed at an early age to get a start in law enforcement,” Shupe said. “The town of Wytheville and the Wytheville Police Department took a chance on hiring a young man fresh out of high school.  By doing so, their leaders invested in me and helped develop the foundation for my career.”

Eventually, Shupe became a state police officer, working in Louisa County from 2005 to 2011. While there, he met his wife, Brittany, a Louisa native.

In 2011, he was assigned to the VSP’s Counter Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction Unit. The three-man unit travelled the state, focusing on crimes relating to public transportation.

“I’m a walking roadmap for the state of Virginia,” he said. “I’ve been a little bit of everywhere.”

The job kept him away from home for long periods of time, so Shupe is happy to settle in Louisa and raise his children, Bryson, 3, and 6-week-old Brieleigh.

As police chief, Shupe will oversee five police officers who patrol the two-square-mile town. The population is around 1,500.

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