Woodstock deputy police chief Rod Wilkinson named city’s next top cop

(L to R): Woodstock Police Services Board chair Ken Whiteford and incoming police chief Rod Wilkinson. Handout/Woodstock Police Services Board

Rod Wilkinson, Woodstock’s deputy police chief and a 25-year veteran of the force, has been named the city’s next chief of police, officials with the Woodstock Police Services Board said Tuesday.

Wilkinson will take over the role of top cop effective July 9, succeeding Chief Daryl Longworth, who announced his retirement in February after three years in the position. Longworth, who was appointed chief in 2019, will serve his last day on July 8.

Woodstock’s police services board says Wilkinson has moved up the ranks during his time in the force, having served in various positions in several operational units.

He also has “extensive technical and supervisory experience” when it comes to criminal investigations, court services patrol, incident command and tactical operations, the board said.

Read more: Woodstock, Ont. police chief set to retire after 30 year career

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In a statement, Wilkinson said he thanked the board for “entrusting me with the leadership” of the police force.

“We will continue to build on and maintain the trust of the Woodstock community. We will continue to work with our community partners and groups striving towards common goals,” his statement read.

“The police service will continue leveraging technology looking for new and innovative ways to allow our officers to be more proactive.”

In a separate statement, board chair Ken Whiteford said Wilkinson was held in high regard by the board, adding that members were looking forward to working with him.

“The Board would also like to acknowledge the significant contribution Chief Longworth has made in mentoring Rod in his role as Deputy. Overall, this has been a fine example of succession planning with rewards for all parties.”

Longworth, himself a 30-year policing veteran, said earlier this year that he was “blessed to have been a member of such a noble profession,” and said he was retiring to devote more time to his family and to other interests.

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