UPDATE (JAN, 22 2021 6:48 p.m.):
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Police Chief William P. “W.P.” Chedester II has decided to step down from his role due to medical reasons, the University announced on Thursday.
A release from WVU stated that Chedester will continue to serve University Police as a lieutenant within the department.
Chedester is a Morgantown native, and joined the University Police in 2002 after graduating from Fairmont State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and completing training at the West Virginia State Police Academy, according to the release.
The release stated that during his career with University Police, Chedester became a certified law enforcement instructor and was promoted to shift sergeant, lieutenant and captain over Operations and Special Services. He also served as commander of the department’s Special Response Team.
University officials said Chedester was named chief of University Police in 2018 with the retirement of former chief Bob Roberts.
“After careful consideration in consultation with my family, health care providers and WVU colleagues, I have made the difficult decision to step down from my position as University Police chief,” Chedester said. “It truly has been a privilege to lead the University Police team these past two years, and I look forward to continuing to protect and serve our campus community in my new role while focusing on my health at the same time.”
The release stated that Phil Scott, who previously served as deputy chief within University Police will serve as interim chief.
According to the release, Scott joined University Police in 2011 as manager of Investigative Services and has taken on roles of increasing responsibility within the department since that time. He was then promoted to major and deputy chief in 2018.
Scott previously served as chief of the Morgantown Police Department, where he retired after 25 years with the department — serving as chief for six of those years.
“W.P. is a close friend and a valued member of the WVU family,” Scott said. “I am honored and humbled to follow him and serve as University Police’s interim chief. However, I also am thankful W.P. will remain part of our team, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in serving West Virginia University’s students, faculty and staff.”
Scott said W.P. left a solid foundation that will make his life easier. However, he said, there has been a hiring problem caused by the pandemic.
“This has just been a challenging year with manpower and training because the academy has been shutdown a couple of times because of COVID, so there’s a backlog of officers that need basic training,” Scott said.
That problem was being handled by W.P. before he left, meaning Scott doesn’t have to start from scratch.
“It’s been a challenge but we will continue to move forward,” the interim chief said.
The release stated that WVU will launch a national search for a new University Police chief. In the meantime, Scott will be in charge and he said he is appreciative of the university and community’s trust in him.