Wilmington police chief changes the definition of retirement

    Christine Dunning ends her Wilmington police career on Friday January 24th.  Long time Wilmington radio host John Watson still wonders why now?

    Here is John Watson’s commentary:

    This is an Open Letter to Wilmington Mayor Dennis P. Williams, regarding the resignation of Wilmington Police Chief Christine Dunning. She has a new job now, as Executive Assistant to New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon.

    Mayor, you said, and I quote, “she elected to retire. The offer she got, she couldn’t turn it down”, unquote.

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    Sounds good Mayor, but some of us aren’t convinced, including me. I wonder Mayor, why Chief Dunning would rather work for New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon, after retiring from her job as Police Chief in Wilmington. Something seems to be out of place.

    After all, when one retires, that indicates they are tired of working. They don’t want another job. At least not right away. What they want is some quiet time at home with the family. Vacations are planned while working, etc, etc. The last thing you think about after retiring, with a good pension check, as Chief Dunning has, is going back to work for anyone, including a great boss like Tom Gordon.

    So people are talking, asking questions. You and Chief Dunning having made positive remarks about each other, leaves us wondering if it’s true. Or just some kind words to satisfy the media?

    But it was nice of you and Tom Gordon to let her down easy. That’s what gentlemen do. 

    But getting back to your search for a replacement of Chief Dunning, Mayor, I think you are making a mistake trying and get someone from the outside to replace her. You tried that before she was picked and it didn’t work. I remember saying to my talk show audience that it would be hard to find someone, with a wife and children to come and live here for the required time before moving to the suburbs.

    To live in such a violent city, of course, you might find someone who isn’t married, but I’m sure they too will think twice before saying yes. 

    You tried before, but no one came then, and you are making the same mistake again Mayor. I hope someone in your administration will have the guts to tell you so. 

    Every leader in your position needs to have those in his administration who will give him the guidance needed in times like this.

    What you need in replacing Chief Dunning is someone you can trust and who the Wilmington population can also trust and support. How about someone who is on our police force? Someone we know and have faith in. Not a stranger.

    I doubt anyone in Wilmington thinks you should pick an outsider when you already have qualified officers who can do the job. One name comes to mind that I won’t mention right here. But he is highly respected by you.

    Good Luck!      


    John Watson is a long time Delaware talk show host. You can read his work here. You can also write him at: JohnWatson1506@comcast.net



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