Wilmington police chief, ready for retirement, accepts county job

 Christine Dunning and Mayor Dennis Williams (photo courtesy of the mayor's office)

Christine Dunning and Mayor Dennis Williams (photo courtesy of the mayor's office)

New Castle County will soon welcome a new employee.

County executive Tom Gordon has hired Wilmington Police Chief Christine Dunning as an executive assistant.

Dunning announced her retirement from the Wilmington Police Department on Tuesday and her last day as an officer will be Friday.  

“She will be a great asset to the people of New Castle County,” said Gordon.

Mayor Dennis Williams appointed Chief Dunning as head of the police department just over a year ago after serving as an officer for more than 25 years.

However tension has been building between the department and the mayor’s office over how to combat the city’s record crime and gun violence.

In December, the mayor hinted at a change in leadership. However, in an audio statement posted Tuesday on the city’s website, the mayor said Dunning’s retirement was completely her decision.  

“She made the decision to retire and move on,” said Williams. “Sometimes being a police officer is just like being a professional athlete. You know when you’ve run the gauntlet and when time to move on because an opportunity strikes, you might as well take it because sometimes you don’t get many opportunities like that.”   

Dunning holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and masters degree from Wilmington University.

Inspector Bobby Cummings will serve as the interim police chief while the department conducts a national search. A retirement party for Dunning is scheduled for Friday at the police department, according to The News Journal

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