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New WPD major brings variety of experiences to unit

POSTED: July 13, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Bonny Harper/Barrow County News

Ed DeVelasco

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Thursday was the first day on the job for the Winder Police Department’s new Criminal Investigation Department Commander, Ed DeVelasco.

DeVelasco, 60, comes to the Winder PD after working for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement since 1984, holding such roles as Special Agent Supervisor, Gang Specialist and Commander of the FBI’s National Gang Task Force.

DeVelasco officially retired from the Florida DLE in June 2011 but stayed on as a Special Reserve Agent because he was running the state’s Violent Crime Initiative.

DeVelasco began his career in 1980 as a police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, where he worked until he started with the Florida DLE in 1984.

"I’m as passionate today as I was the first day—just a lot wiser about how to do my job," DeVelasco said. "The fire burns even brighter."

DeVelasco received his bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University in Los Angeles, and he earned his master’s degree in management from Argosy University in Sarasota, Fla. He has also completed one year of his Ph.D. in organizational leadership at Argosy.

DeVelasco, whose areas of expertise also include courtroom testimony and community policing, spent much of his time with the Florida DLE traveling to train departments all over the U.S., including the New York Police Department and the San Diego Drug Enforcement Agency, as well as departments in Central America.

"With all the traveling I’ve done, I’ve learned the best practices from the best departments in the United States and Central America," DeVelasco said. "I’m grateful to be able to share that with the people that I work with, and with the citizens."

DeVelasco and his wife Barbara, a renowned police psychologist, moved to this area in March 2011, and DeVelasco has been commuting and flying to his various work engagements since then.

DeVelasco said his decision to come onto the Winder PD as the CID Commander was rooted in his family.

About seven years ago, DeVelasco and his wife adopted a little girl from China who was then a year and a half old.

Now 8-year-old Mei Hui, whose name means "beautiful wisdom" in Chinese, had open heart surgery. Her heart condition and Barbara’s love of this area prompted the DeVelascos to relocate to be closer to Emory Healthcare and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

DeVelasco said that, before moving to Winder, he had never lived in a community in which he had not worked, and he wanted to contribute to this "wonderful community."

"I wanted to do what I do for my community that I live in, as well as be a full-time father and husband," DeVelasco said. "I chose family over profession. This is where I want to live the rest of my life. This is where my daughter is going to grow up. This is home."



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