BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – Bristol, Tennessee Police Chief Blaine Wade announced his retirement Wednesday after 37 years in public service.
According to a release from the Bristol Tennessee Police Department, Wade’s final day on the job will be June 18, 2021. He has served as chief since 2004.
Wade’s career in law enforcement began when he joined the Bristol Tennessee Police Department immediately following high school at the age of 18, becoming one of the youngest sworn officers in the state of Tennessee, a release from the department stated.
Wade said in the release that such a long tenure in the role of chief is not particularly common. Under his 17 years of leadership, however, a number of significant milestones and achievements have been reached by the department.
“Throughout his career with the City of Bristol, Chief Wade has exhibited a steadfast devotion to serving this community. From major events that have put Bristol on the world stage to some incredibly difficult and challenging situations that his department has faced in the line of duty, Blaine has been the embodiment of integrity and professionalism through it all,” said City Manager Bill Sorah. “There is no question that today Bristol is a safer place to call home because of his leadership, and it has been my honor to work with him.”
Chief Wade currently serves on the boards of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, the Second Judicial District Drug Task Force, and the Branch House Family Justice Center, according to the release.
“My main hope would be to continue our tradition of being a highly accredited agency and a model for best practices in law enforcement,” said Wade. “Serving Bristol alongside the dedicated men and women in this department has truly been the honor and privilege of a lifetime. I can only hope that I leave it a little bit better as a result of my time here.”
Following his retirement, the release detailed that Wade looks forward to devoting his time in pursuit of various part-time endeavors, including continued nonprofit and community service work. Above all, Wade is eager to spend more time with his wife and three children.
The process to select his successor will commence in the coming months.