VALLEY, Ala. (WRBL) – A bittersweet day for the Chambers County community as Valley’s Police Chief Tommy Weldon served his final day as the agency’s leader. Thursday, Chief Weldon made his last call over the Valley PD radio after nearly 37 years of dedicated service to his community. The call, a bittersweet moment for the city’s steady and humble leader. (Video of the call is at the bottom of this story).
“Thirty-six years, seven months and twenty days – I started a police officer with the City of Valley. I would like to thank God for all his protection over the years, thank my wife and family for their support and prayers, and thank all my co-workers for all they have done to watch my back and be there to help me,” said Chief Weldon from the front seat of a patrol vehicle.
Chief Weldon’s friend and fellow officer for 33-years, Major Mike Reynolds, will transition to Chief on Friday.
“I want to thank the community for their support of the police department and me the way they have. Chief Reynolds is going to be an outstanding chief. He’s been my right-hand man and voice of reason for years, and he is going to do an outstanding job,” said Weldon.
Weldon will stick around as a reserve officer with Valley and step in as a crisis negotiator if needed. When Major Reynolds picks up the Chief’s badge Friday, his first call will probably be to his former Chief and forever friend.
“He’s not going far, I’ve got him on speed dial, so when I run into something I don’t understand, he will be my first call. He said I had been his voice of reason; I think it’s been the other way around,” said Reynolds.
Weldon is looking forward to spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He’s highly active in his church, plays the bugle, and serves as Chaplain at the Fraternal Order of Police. Looking back, Chief Weldon says his greatest accomplishment is being a catalyst for change for someone struggling.
“One of the things that have touched me the most is when I had people approach me and thank me for arresting them. To have people come back years later and thank me for what I do and helping them on to the right path, I think that is the most fulfilling part of Law Enforcement for me,” said Chief Weldon.
Chief Weldon may be leaving the Valley Police Department but will forever keep his servant’s heart on active duty for a friend or stranger in need. That’s a big 10-4 for a job well done. Thank you, Chief Weldon, for your professionalism and friendship over the years.