BLACKSBURG, Va. (WTVR) – Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum is stepping down from his job.
Flinchum, who became chief one year before the 2007 campus shooting spree, joined the force as a “student employee” in 1983.
“Chief Flinchum is an outstanding leader and has been the glue binding the department during some very hard and stressful crime events,” Virginia Tech vice president for administration Sherwood Wilson wrote in a statement released Thursday morning. “He is admired and respected by his officers, staff, the university community, and his colleagues in law enforcement. Regretfully, we accept the chief’s decision to start a new chapter in his life.”
Flinchum “led with professionalism and dignity through some momentous events including the tragedy of April 16 and the loss of one of their own, Deriek Crouse, among several very high profile and emotionally difficult criminal investigations,” Wilson added.
“There comes a point in our life when we find it is time to transition to a new phase. I have been blessed with a wonderful career, great opportunities and the privilege of working with great people. I am proud of all of you and the work you have done to make [the Virginia Tech Police Department] one of the premier university law enforcement agencies in the country,” Flinchum wrote in a note to his staff.
Maj. Kevin Foust, will become acting chief Feb. 1, 2014. Virginia Tech is conducting a national search for Flinchum’s replacement.