Wilmington has a new police chief: Wilfredo Campos, a person of color and a captain who has been with the department for 26 years.
Campos, 50, grew up in Wilmington and will become the city’s 33rd police chief and the first person of Hispanic descent to be named to that post.
He will be paid $200,000 and begin his job immediately, replacing Chief Robert Tracy, who is leaving to take the chief’s job in St. Louis, Missouri.
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Campos’ appointment seems to satisfy the Wilmington City Council’s criticism about the department not having local leadership and not having more leaders of color.
“The Mayor made a good decision in appointing Chief Campos,” said Wilmington City Council President Trippi Congo in the release announcing Campos’ appointment. He said Purzycki had reached out for Congo’s thoughts.
“City Council looks forward to collaborating with the new WPD police administration,” Congo said. “We wish the new leadership well.”
Purzycki also announced that Captains Anthony Bowers and Matthew Hall have been named as inspectors to assist Campos.
The new police chief
Campos graduated from the 84th Wilmington Police Academy in 1996, grew up on Wilmington’s West Side and has served in a variety of positions on the force. They include the Uniform Services Division, Community Policing Division, Criminal Investigation Division and the Human Resources Division.
He was assigned to a Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Task Force and has served with the United States Army Reserve.
Campos also is active with community organizations, including serving as a board member of West Side Family Healthcare and Los Jardines Senior Housing.
The new chief graduated from Thomas McKean High School, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Wilmington University.
He is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute of Policing sponsored by the Police Executive Research Forum and is a Polygraph Examiner Professional graduate of the Academy for Scientific Investigative Training in Philadelphia.
“His vast experience and leadership skills, as well as his decades-long knowledge and understanding of city neighborhoods and his interactions with city residents will serve him well as he takes command of an outstanding police department,” Purzycki said. “I could not be happier for Chief Campos, his family and his many supporters throughout Wilmington who have encouraged him throughout his career.”
See a video of the mayor’s announcement here.
Campos thanked the Mayor for naming him police chief and expressed gratitude to his immediate family, which includes his wife Diana, his children Kiara and Wilfredo Jr., and their dog, Gracie, for their support.
“It is truly a blessing and an honor to have the opportunity to continue serving the residents of Wilmington in this new role as police chief and to be able to lead our brave and dedicated police officers and civilians that make up the Wilmington Department of Police family,” Campos said in a press release. “I thank my entire family, our many friends, current and former police officers, and all of the people who have provided support and guidance to me throughout the years to make this day possible.”
Inspector Matthew Hall joined the Wilmington Police Department on Nov. 4, 1996. His past assignments include positions with the Criminal Investigations Division and the Uniformed Services Division. He was promoted to captain in 2019 and has since been assigned as the commanding officer of the Special Operations Division.
In addition to overseeing school resource officers, the Downtown/Riverfront Unit and the Canine Unit, Hall coordinated with law enforcement agencies and the United States Secret Service during Democratic National Convention and Election Night programming during President Joe Biden’s campaign.
Inspector Anthony Bowers joined the Wilmington Police Department on June 14, 1999. He has held positions with the United States Marshals Task Force and the Office of Professional Standards. He was promoted to captain in 2018 and has spent time as the Sector 2 Captain.
Bowers most recently served as the commanding officer of the Human Resources Division, a role that has included overseeing the department’s recruitment efforts, leaded to the most recent academy class having nearly 85% minority recruits. Bowers is a recent graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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