After a three-month search, the City of Winchester has officially sworn in its new police chief.
John Piper is a 24-year veteran with the Fairfax County Police Department and is now Winchester’s new Police Chief.
“I thought there was a possibility of this happening, but I was truly honored and very humbled. I didn’t get expect or take for granted that this was gonna happen at all. It’s a position that many of us in law enforcement strive to obtain,” said Chief Piper.
Kevin Webb, a field instructor in Fairfax, has known Piper since 1994. He said he has seen him mature from a patrol officer up through the ranks to major and now chief.
“He’s fair. He’s honest, got integrity and is a true leader,” said Kevin Webb, Master Police Officer.
Chief Piper said he looks forward to hitting the ground running in the Winchester community.
“My goals coming in here [are] to take a look at what we’re doing, to listen, not only to the community but to the men and woman of the police department, and hear what their ideas are,” said Chief Piper.
One of his main priorities in the area will be the opioid crisis focusing on prevention, enforcement and education.
“I know that a lot of our calls for service here in Winchester are dealing with people who are in emotional crisis, so ensuring that we continue to train our men and women of the police department to deal with those situations safely and effectively will be a priority as well,” said Chief Piper.
Chief Piper was selected out of 86 applicants from 25 different states.
A “Meet the Chief” public open house will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Jim Barnett Park.
A new police chief has been selected for the city of Winchester
The city council approved the appointment of John Piper, a 24-year veteran from Fairfax County, out of the 86 that applied for the position.
Piper is currently the Director of the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy.
City officials said his outstanding experience was the reason for his approval.
“He’s done just about every function that you would want your chief of police to have served in,” said Winchester City Manager Eden Freeman. “He’s been a street cop. He’s served in undercover investigations. He’s served in national security functions, and he’s also very much involved in the training aspect of it, and training will always be important to public safety agencies.”
“Those kind of innovative approaches, I think I’ve been fortunate enough to be around throughout my career, are some of the things that I’m gonna want to look at when I move to Winchester,” said Chief Piper. “Perhaps there’s some different ways that we could try some new techniques and ideas to attack some of these problems that are facing the city of Winchester.”
Piper will assume the position of police chief on Sept. 1.