Capt. Wendell Flinchum of Christiansburg, Va., a 21-year veteran of the Virginia Tech Police Department who has served as interim chief of police since July 1, has been named the university's chief of police and director of campus security.
“After concluding a thorough and comprehensive search, we confirmed that the very best candidate was already here on campus,” said James A. Hyatt, Virginia Tech’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Capt. Flinchum has served our community with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity for more than 20 years. He has the respect of his department, an excellent rapport within the university community, and strong relationships with other law enforcement agencies. We are fortunate to have Capt. Flinchum lead our police department.”
Capt. Flinchum’s appointment follows a national search that began in June. Veteran law enforcement officials from Missouri and Florida were among the finalists selected from the more than 90 applicants for the position. Candidates for the position met with students and faculty, several senior university administrators, members of the Virginia Tech Police Department, and members of local law enforcement agencies.
Flinchum succeeds Debra Duncan, who left the university in June to become police chief for the City of Monroe, N.C.
Flinchum joined the Virginia Tech Police Department as a part-time employee in 1983 and became a full-time officer in 1985. Since 2001, Flinchum has served as a department commander, with responsibilities for maintaining relationships within the university community, serving as a liaison with federal, state, and local agencies, ensuring compliance with national law enforcement accreditation standards, and managing some department budgets.
In 2005, Flinchum graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (Section 222). In 2003, he completed Professional Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond and the Commonwealth Management Institute. Earlier this year, he received a commendation from the Office of the Governor of Virginia for leadership during the manhunt incident of August 21 and he received the Commonwealth Silver Valor Award in 1990.
Under Flinchum’s leadership, the Virginia Tech Police Department successfully completed its re-accreditation process with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies earlier this year.
Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.