Retiring police chief enjoyed the ride
It's been a career of service for the past 14 years for Charles Wedemeyer Jr., but also a lifetime of friendship and memories as he retires from the Jersey Village Police Department as police chief.
Wedemeyer, who has a 40-year law enforcement career, announced his retirement in April 2010. On Nov. 1, 2010, Eric Foerster became the new chief as Wedemeyer continues to act as a consultant for the department.
He will officially leave the department at the end of January 2011.
C.J. Harper, Jersey Village Police Department detective sergeant, has known Wedemeyer, a Spring resident, for 25 years.
He said his former chief is a person who was an inspiring motivator and coach.
"He created a culture of support and achievement. He was a great role model who was employee- and family-oriented. His retirement is a celebration of years of accomplishments and dedication to law enforcement. It's a great loss and a sad announcement, but there is a joy attached to the person who has done so much all these years. He has a certain spot in our hearts," Harper said.
Wedemeyer's career began in 1962 with the Harris County Sheriff's Office as a deputy patrol officer. His first career choice was a petroleum engineer, but he was swayed into law enforcement by longtime friend, Johnny Klevenhagen, who served as Harris County sheriff from 1985-1995.
Wedemeyer's success as a patrol officer was noted early on when he was named Rookie of the Year in 1962.
Eddie Macaluso , a Conroe resident, has known Wedemeyer for 41 years through law enforcement. Macaluso was Wedemeyer's supervisor when he served as his first lieutenant at the sheriff's department.
He said Wedemeyer brought "patience, knowledge and expertise" to his position as police chief.
"He's the voice of reason and totally laid back. It doesn't matter in any situation. When I retired, we were equal in rank. I give a portion of my success to Charlie Wedemeyer. I think he'll be a hard act to follow," Macaluso said.
In 1970, Wedemeyer continued to advance in law enforcement. After eight years with the sheriff's department, he moved to the Harris County District Attorney's office where he worked as an investigator.
Wedemeyer returned to the sheriff's office in 1973, and was promoted through the ranks as sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. In 1995, Wedemeyer retired as major, the highest rank besides sheriff.
He was chosen and appointed as police chief for the JVPD in 1996.
The transition to a smaller department was a perfect fit for Wedemeyer, the younger of two children of Charles and Jeanette Wedemeyer.
"The people here are very supportive of the police department and fire and emergency services. It's been a great place to be," Wedemeyer said.
Retiring will be a bittersweet ending he said.
"This career was kind of a calling. You have to be dedicated. You feel like you help people along the way. It's been a rewarding career. Each one has been something different from doing police work to investigative to supervisory. There was always something different every day. It keeps your mind running. It's been a good ride," said Wedemeyer.
His plans include spending time with his wife, Lynn, their three children and two grandchildren.
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