VT Police Chief Wendell Flinchum set to retire Friday - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

VT Police Chief Wendell Flinchum set to retire Friday

Posted: Updated:

Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum doesn't know what it will be like getting up each day without something he has to do.

"It's going to be odd not to put this on everyday," he says, pointing to his uniform. After nearly 29 years with Tech Police and retirement just five days away, he's about to find out.

"The advice I've been given over the years is you'll know when it's right and it felt right," he said. "Things fell into place for me and it just felt like the right time to go."

Flinchum started here on patrol, working his way through the ranks until he became chief in 2006. But even after three decades, he says leaving is bittersweet. "Transitioning out, it's bittersweet. I've had a great career here. There are a lot of aspects that I really enjoy, some that I don't." Four months after becoming chief, Flinchum found himself leading the department through the April 16th tragedy. Four years later, the loss of one of his own officers in Deriek Crouse.

Colleagues credit Flinchum for his calm and leadership in their darkest days. "In police work, you develop a bond when you go through times of crisis or different things. Flinchum tells WSLS he'll never stop worrying about the men and women still here. "I'll miss them. I'll still worry about them. I'll still pray for them at night for their safety."

Flinchum announced his retirement in November, two weeks after the Virginia Supreme Court overturned a jury's finding that Virginia Tech officials failed to warn students after the first shooting on campus April 16th. The court's decision helped Flinchum reach his. "That was part of the factor," he said. "When the Supreme Court came back with their decision that was probably the last piece for me to feel that it was time to go, that that chapter had closed."

Ready to start a new chapter while keeping one thing the same.

Flinchum will stay in the area near his wife's family, his family and the community he loves. "I love this area, the community and especially after everything we've been through here the community support not only of the university but of me personally there's no reason to leave, this is my home." While he says he's ready to take some time and unwind, Flinchum says he'll eventually go back to work but not in law enforcement.

Chief Flinchum says he's heard soon to be retirees often say they'd miss the people the most. "People I work with, people around the university. At the end of the day, I think that's what you miss, the relationships you have with people," he explained.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
    31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.
  • Floydfest wraps up 'Revolutionary' festival

    Floydfest wraps up 'Revolutionary' festival

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:42:30 GMT
    This weekend wrapped up Floydfest 2014, an event thirteen years in the making that WSLS proudly sponsors.
    This weekend wrapped up Floydfest 2014, an event thirteen years in the making that WSLS proudly sponsors.
  • Bedford Sheriff Department searches home on Nemmo Road

    Bedford Sheriff Department searches home on Nemmo Road

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:19 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:19:56 GMT
    There was a flurry of police activity Monday in Bedford County.
    There was a flurry of police activity Monday in Bedford County.
  • Roanoke Police investigate shots fired incident

    Roanoke Police investigate shots fired incident

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:37:03 GMT
    On July 29, 2014 at 6:08 p.m. Roanoke Police were dispatched to the 1200 block of Orange Avenue NE to investigate a shots fired call. Immediately upon arrival officers detained several subjects believed to have been involved in the incident. The preliminary investigation suggests the individuals involved were traveling in two different vehicles on Hollins Road when at least one of the occupants in one of the vehicles starting shooting at the other vehicle. The vehicles separated briefly and t...
    On July 29, 2014 at 6:08 p.m. Roanoke Police were dispatched to the 1200 block of Orange Avenue NE to investigate a shots fired call. Immediately upon arrival officers detained several subjects believed to have been involved in the incident. The preliminary investigation suggests the individuals involved were traveling in two different vehicles on Hollins Road when at least one of the occupants in one of the vehicles starting shooting at the other vehicle. The vehicles separated briefly and t...
  • Former Va. governor's corruption trial begins

    Former Va. governor's corruption trial begins

    Jury selection is on the agenda for opening day in the corruption trial of a former Virginia governor and his wife in Richmond.
    Jury selection is on the agenda for opening day in the corruption trial of a former Virginia governor and his wife in Richmond.
  • Friends share memories of Caldwell Butler

    Friends share memories of Caldwell Butler

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:52:19 GMT
    People across the county and along the Roanoke Valley are mourning the loss of Caldwell Butler. Friends said the former congressman was an outstanding lawyer, a real gentleman and a devoted family man. On Tuesday, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Griffith, and others in the Virginia delegation honored the life of former Congressman M. Caldwell Butler on the floor of the House. It was a fitting tribute by republicans and democrats who honored a man known to look beyond party lines. Friends said Caldwe...
    People across the county and along the Roanoke Valley are mourning the loss of Caldwell Butler. Friends said the former congressman was an outstanding lawyer, a real gentleman and a devoted family man. On Tuesday, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Griffith, and others in the Virginia delegation honored the life of former Congressman M. Caldwell Butler on the floor of the House. It was a fitting tribute by republicans and democrats who honored a man known to look beyond party lines. Friends said Caldwe...
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.