Former Glenwood Springs Police Chief Wilson honored in building dedication and merit award

GSPD dedicate department facility as the Chief Terry L. Wilson Police Administration Building

Glenwood Springs Police Department Lieutenant John Hassell looks at the plaque dedicating the police deparment building as the new Chief Terry L. Wilson Police Administration Building on Friday afternoon.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

As of Dec. 11, the Glenwood Springs Police Department is officially known as the Chief Terry L. Wilson Police Administration Building.

Wilson, who began his law enforcement career as an animal control officer worked his way to Chief before retiring Feb. 1, 2020 after 35 years of service.

“When I came here last January I found out very, very quickly that I had some very big shoes to fill,” said new Glenwood Springs Police Chief Joseph Deras. “He was part of this department for a very long time and as I go around the community I hear about all of the things he had done.”

Glenwood Springs Police Chief Joseph Deras speaks about the inaugural Chief Terry L. Wilson Special Merit Award at the building dedication ceremony on Friday afternoon.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Deras collaborated with department Lts.John Hassel and Bill Kimminau to bring forth the idea of dedicating the building in Wilson’s name to honor the years and service he not only put toward the department but the residents and City of Glenwood Springs.

“Terry, you poured your heart and soul into this department, this city and this community for so many years, and it just didn’t feel right for your memory to fade away,” Kimminau said. “For all of the blood, sweat, tears, heart ache and heart attack he put into caring for not only this police department but into the city and the citizens and each and every one of us as individuals every day for many years we are not going to let your legacy die.”

Merit Award

Along with the building dedication the department wanted to establish a way to motivate and recognize officers who exemplify the same characteristics Wilson personified.

Deras has spent this year working with his lieutenants to establish a new set of department policies, which included an awards system.

“Many other departments have awards and medals of valor and I thought ‘you know in the same spirit as we did outside (on the building) I think we should have something that an officer can wear as they earn an award in Chief Wilson’s name’, so that’s how we came up with the special merit award,” Deras said.

Former police Chief Terry WIlson will be the first to receive the new special merit award after 35 years of service with the Glenwood Springs Police Department.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Officers and civilian staff must meet a set of criteria to be awarded this honor which reads in the policy handbook as follows:

Awarded to any department member for performing other especially meritorious work not covered in the above categories. Wilson’s dedication to the law enforcement profession, the city of Glenwood Springs and organizations who provide assistance and guidance to victims of crimes is a gold standard and define the word “community.”

Department members who demonstrate qualities referred below, which are not all inclusive, may be considered for this prestigious distinction and award:

• Community service work

• Outside volunteer services

• Day-to-day excellence

• Loyalty and leadership

All of those will be factors in deciding who to honor with the award.

“This is the first award of it’s kind in this department,” Deras said.

Wilson is the first at the department to receive this award. He was unable to attend the dedication ceremony. but listened in on a Zoom call.

“He (Wilson) is a fabric of this community, and I thought there has to be something we can do to honor his service here and remember his legacy and everything he put into this department and community,” Deras said.

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