Glenwood’s top cop named Local’s Choice
Thirty-five years ago, Terry Wilson began his career with the Glenwood Springs Police Department. More than two decades ago, he took over as the department’s chief of police.
Fast forward to today, and he’s earned the honor of being named the Local’s Choice for Best Police Officer.
Not bad for a man who didn’t have a career in law enforcement as part of his road map. Sure, he had an interest. After all, his dad was a sheriff’s deputy in Los Angeles. But for Wilson, it took a while for his interest to develop.
And it started with losing a job.
“I was happily working my life away in the coal mines, and then the mines began to close up,” Wilson said.
At the time, Wilson was playing music in a little weekend bar band, and one of his band mates happened to be a Glenwood Police Department sergeant.
“I told him I was going to have to move because the mine was closing,” Wilson said.
A fourth generation resident, Wilson’s roots run deep in the Roaring Fork Valley, and he didn’t want to move.
“My great grandpa came to the valley in a covered wagon to run a bakery in Aspen in the silver boom,” Wilson said.
The band mate suggested Wilson put in an application with the Police Department — so he did.
He was hired, and his career with the Police Department began in February 1984. Wilson has been hooked on helping people and the community ever since.
“It is a very addictive profession in that you enjoy being the person that goes to help people when they have problems they can’t deal with themselves,” Wilson said. “It’s a very enjoyable and satisfying business.”
Wilson said a lot has changed during his PD tenure.
“It was a lot quieter (early on in his career),” Wilson said. “My officers now are so much busier than they ever were. It’s incredible the volume of calls that they respond to.”
He remembers a time when he and his fellow officers could count on quiet time for about 3-4 hours in the early morning in Glenwood.
“It was us, the wholesome bread delivery guy, and the couple that ran around and filled the newspaper racks,” Wilson said. “Nothing truly stops the way it used to.”
When asked about being recognized as the best police officer, Wilson said he really appreciates the voters.
“I think for me to win as the head of this department says that I have a very good staff of people that are doing an excellent job,” Wilson said. “… I have the blessing of working with tremendous people every day and night — within the department — within the city. I think any recognition that comes my way is solely because of the work they are doing every day, that makes me very proud.”
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