Police chief in Oxford announces retirement

Jan. 31, 2013 @ 04:30 PM

Oxford Police Chief John Wolford has submitted notice of his retirement effective Sept. 1.

Wolford’s career spans 38 years in law enforcement and two in the court system. He served as a police chief in six other cities before coming to Oxford, where he has been chief since 2000.

In announcing his retirement months in advance, Wolford said, “I wanted to give them enough time to set up a selection process so they can get the best possible person.”

He expressed his thanks to the board of commissioners and in particular emphasized his appreciation of “the many professional law enforcement officers and employees I have had the honor of leading here in Oxford and throughout my career in policing.”

City Commissioner Howard Herring, Sr. said as chairman of the city’s Public Safety Committee he has worked closely with Wolford over the years.

“The chief has done a tremendous job for the city of Oxford,” he said. “I’m very appreciative of his service. He has provided good leadership and implemented good programs, like the citizens action groups and community watch.”

He added that both professionally and personally, “I’m going to miss him.”

Henderson Police Chief Keith Sidwell said, “John continues to be a good friend. He is a consummate professional. The citizens of Oxford and the men and women of the Oxford P.D. are losing a fantastic leader.”

In the city’s announcement of Wolford’s notice of retirement, Mayor Jackie Sergent said, “Chief Wolford has shown his dedication to our residents in multiple ways as chief of police, including active support of Families Living Violence Free, our local domestic violence agency, and the Gang Assessment Project, as well as by his willingness to try new approaches to crime control such as the Offender Focused Initiative. I am grateful to the chief for his efforts over the years and look forward to his continued engagement in our community as he embarks upon this well-deserved retirement.”

Wolford plans to remain in Oxford in retirement.

“This is our adopted home,” he said, “and we’ll be here.”


Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.