Jerry Wilson
Jerry Wilson was the field operations commander and later police chief in Washington, D.C. during the peak period of demonstrations and confrontations with police during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Jerry Wilson joined the U.S. Navy in 1943, and served aboard a mine sweeper that was engaged in several actions during World War Two. He served in the Navy until 1946, when he left the Navy and joined the United States Marine Corps, as a Military Policeman. He left the Marine Corps in 1947 and returned home to complete High School.

Then in 1949, another recruitment poster caught his eye, and Jerry Wilson joined the Metropolitan Police Department.

By 1961, he attained the rank of Captain and was placed in charge of fiscal affairs. Jerry Wilson would then rise quickly up the chain as he became the Director of Planning and Development, and then became the Field Operations Commander at the rank of Assistant Chief of Police.

It was from this assignment amid growing civic tension and rising crime that Jerry Wilson was promoted to Chief of Police in 1969.

Chief Wilson reorganized the Police Department, and oversaw the addition of one thousand new officers, which swelled the ranks to 5100. He led the department to a statistical 34% reduction in crime from its all-time high of 82,000 reported offenses.

He was always at the forefront of demonstrations and major incidents and in many instances directed police action personally.

During his tenure as Chief the Department put women into uniformed patrol and helped to ease many of the simmering racial tensions in the City.

Chief Wilson, unlike many of his predecessors also had a unique relationship with the Nixon Administration, which took a strong interest in D.C.’s crime and antiwar protests.

Chief Wilson resigned in 1974, and went on to work for American University as a Chairman and Project Director , for Peoples Drug Stores as a Senior Vice President in charge of Security, for Maryland University as an instructor in private security, and for the Crime Control research Corporation as a Senior Vice President in crime analysis.

--partially excerpted from the Metropolitan Police Department biography
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