Hampton Names New Police Chief
Jimmie Wideman, a lifetime Hampton resident and experienced leader in law enforcement, has been named Hampton's new police chief. Two years ago, Wideman was the second-ranked candidate for the chief job and was very highly regarded by the panel of citizens, staff, and others.
With Chief Mark Talbot's departure after such a short time, City Manager Bunting asked both City Council and the prior community panel members if they would still feel comfortable with Wideman's selection as police chief. Overwhelmingly, people expressed support for his selection. His experience is broad and covers many areas of public safety.
Wideman began his service to Hampton as a volunteer with the Northampton Fire and Rescue Squad at the age of 16. He attended the Tidewater Regional Fire Academy after graduating from Bethel High School in 1987 and joined the Hampton Fire and Rescue Division as a Medic Firefighter in 1988. He also worked for the Hampton Newport News Community Services Board as a Social Detox Technician. In 1994, he joined the Hampton Police Division and had the pleasure of several assignments to include Public Information, Special Projects, Recruiting and several command assignments in Investigative Services, Professional Standards, and a Firearms Enforcement Task Force. He rose through the ranks before retiring as a Captain in 2019. Since that time, Wideman has served the Department of the Air Force as an Intelligence Analyst for the Law Enforcement Division in Quantico, Va., providing tactical and strategic analysis to investigations and operations in support of the Air Force's law enforcement mission.
His formal education includes a Bachelors in Sociology and a Masters of Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University. He has additional leadership and police disciplines training through the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (FBINA Session 267), University of Virginia Senior Executive Institute, and Command Officers Program, which prepared him well for command roles within the Division and supported promotions to the executive ranks.
When Bunting first contacted him, Wideman was excited but said he was not in the position to accept the opportunity. However, he recently reached out to Bunting and indicated his desire to be considered for the job. Although Hampton was in contact with a national search firm, no search had begun.
Bunting was pleased to offer him the position, as so many in the organization and community had encouraged her when they learned of Talbot's departure. She expressed unequivocal support: “I am so thrilled that Jimmie Wideman was able to accept our offer to be Hampton's next Police Chief. He brings the perfect balance of HPD knowledge, professional experience, and the professional distance to see pathways to improvement that comes from having served in other locations.”
Bunting also thanked Interim Chief Gallop for the great job he has done, along with Interim Deputy Chief Ferguson. Both of these experienced leaders will remain in those roles until Wideman's start date of July 31.
Commonwealth Attorney Anton Bell shared, “I have worked closely with Jimmy Wideman for two decades. He is a strategic visionary in law enforcement. Moreover, I look forward to partnering with his proven leadership to increase public safety and positively impact the quality of life of our residents.”
Wideman stated, “I am eager to return to my City of Hampton family and fully invest myself in service to our community.”