Georgetown Police Chief Topping eyes retirement, more family time

GEORGETOWN – Georgetown’s top cop is eyeing retirement and more family time.

Town of Georgetown Police Chief William S. Topping announced Wednesday that he is retiring.

Georgetown Police Chief William Topping, shown here addressing Sussex County Council last year, has announced his retirement.


Mayor and Council accepted Chief Topping’s notice of retirement at its Feb. 11 meeting. He will be stepping down from active duty as the town’s police chief effective Feb. 12, however, his official retirement date will be Nov. 1, at which time he will have accrued more than 20 years of service in Delaware law enforcement, according to Georgetown Town Manager Eugene Dvornik.

Chief Topping, 60, whose career in law enforcement has spanned 42 years, said he plans to spend more time with family and traveling and ultimately will pursue consulting work.

“My time in Georgetown has been rewarding, and I’ve made many close friends,” Chief Topping said. “I will miss the dedication and professionalism of the entire Town staff, and the support they have given me during my time serving as police chief.”

Built a Modern Force

Upon assuming responsibilities as chief in 1998, Chief Topping set about establishing the police that exists today. New vehicles, updated equipment and uniforms were the first steps in bringing the department into the 21st century. Intense and modern training coupled with applicable written directives and guidelines transformed the department into a highly effective and efficient police agency. During this time, the complaint load increased from 3500 per year to well over 9000 complaints per year.

Long Career in Law Enforcement

Chief Topping served in the United States Air Force as a Law Enforcement Specialist. Service included duty stations both internationally and stateside, including Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

Chief Topping also served in the first Gulf War. In 1993, after 20 years of service, he retired from the Air Force. While on active duty, he earned the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Humanitarian Services Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal and the Airman’s Medal.

While stationed at Dover Air Force Base, Chief Topping attended the Delaware State Police Training Academy and earned his certification as a police officer for Delaware.

In 1990 he was hired as a part-time officer for the City of Harrington.

Upon his retirement from the Air Force, he was taken on as a full-time police officer for

Harrington. In 1995 he was hired by the Town of Felton as their police chief.

Chief Topping was instrumental in forming that town’s first full-time police force. From there he was hired by the Town of Georgetown as police chief in 1998.

Service to the State

Chief Topping currently serves as Chairman of the Delaware Police Chiefs Council, and has previously served on the Delaware Police Accreditation Commission, Police Chiefs Council Professional Standards Committee, Sussex County Chiefs Association, Council on Police Training and many other committees and task forces.

He was recognized by the Delaware League of Local Governments as Police Chief of the Year in 1999, 2003, and 2008.

He served on Delaware’s Homeland Security Working Group for seven years.

Chief Topping is a member of Delaware Police Chiefs Foundation, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.