WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) – The Wilson Police Department’s police chief of more than a decade will retire in June, according to an announcement from the city on Thursday.
Chief Thomas Hopkins is a Wilson native and has spent his 26-year career with its police department. He will retire on June 1, according to a news release.
An announcement about his successor will be made within the next week, the release said.
“It has been an honor for me to serve the citizens of Wilson as Police Chief over the last 11 years,” Hopkins said in the release. “Our greatest strengths are the strong bonds and relationships with our citizens and youth. It is our citizens, city staff, and the hard-working men and women of the Wilson Police Department that are responsible for the department’s successes.”
Hopkins joined the Wilson Police Department in January 1995. He was promoted to senior patrol officer, then hiring and recruitment coordinator, then sergeant, then lieutenant before being named chief in February 2010.
According to the city, Hopkins worked to build stronger relationships between police and the community. It credited him with transforming Wilson’s Police Athletics League from having one football camp each summer to operating year-round with more than 30 annual programs and events. He helped the PAL become a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit with its own board of directors and operations, which helped it grow.
Hopkins plans to continue to volunteer with PAL after retiring.