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Georgetown Police Chief Retiring

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Georgetown Police Chief William S. Topping Georgetown Police Chief William S. Topping
GEORGETOWN, Del.- After more than 20 years in Delaware law enforcement, Georgetown Police Chief William Topping says he's retiring.

The announcement was made Wednesday night as the Georgetown mayor and council accepted his notice of retirement at their meeting. Chief Topping stepped down from active duty on Thursday; however his official retirement date is Nov. 1.

The 60-year-old Topping, whose career in law enforcement has spanned 42 years, said he plans to spend more time with family and traveling, and ultimately will pursue consulting work.

"My time in Georgetown has been rewarding, and I've made many close friends," Topping said. "I will miss the dedication and professionalism of the entire Town staff, and the support they have given me during my time serving as police chief."

Town officials said that upon assuming responsibilities in 1998 as chief, Topping set about establishing the police department you see today. They said new vehicles, updated equipment and uniforms were the first steps in bringing the department into the 21st century. Officials said intense and modern training coupled with applicable written directives and guidelines transformed the department into a highly effective and efficient police agency. During this time, the complaint load increased from 3,500 per year to well over 9,000 complaints per year, offcials said. 

Topping served in the United States Air Force as a law enforcement specialist. Service included duty stations both internationally and stateside, including Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Topping also served in the first Gulf War.  In 1993, after 20 years of service, he retired from the Air Force. While on active duty, he earned the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Humanitarian Services Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal and the Airman's Medal.

While stationed at Dover Air Force Base, Topping attended the Delaware State Police Training Academy and earned his certification as a police officer for Delaware. In 1990 he was hired as a part-time officer for the City of Harrington.

Upon his retirement from the Air Force, he was taken on as a full-time police officer for Harrington. In 1995 he was hired by the Town of Felton as their Police Chief. Topping was instrumental in forming that town's first full-time police force, officials said. From there he was hired by the Town of Georgetown to serve as police chief in 1998.

Topping serves as chairman of the Delaware Police Chiefs Council, and has previously served on the Delaware Police Accreditation Commission, Police Chiefs Council Professional Standards Committee, Sussex County Chiefs Association, Council on Police Training and many other committees and task forces.

He was recognized by the Delaware League of Local Governments as Police Chief of the Year in 1999, 2003, and 2008. He also served on Delaware's Homeland Security Working Group for seven years.

Topping is also a member of Delaware Police Chiefs Foundation, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association.

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