Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.
Fredericksburg’s Finest on Fridays – Eddie Delano
Position/Rank: Acting Captain Patrol Division
Years of Service: 30+
When Eddie Delano began his career with the Police Department in 1983, there were no computers in our Headquarters, much less in the patrol cars, and the starting salary for cops was $13,707. Highlights of the year included a paralyzing February snowstorm that dumped nearly two feet of snow on the city, a raucous concert at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds attended by thousands of Molly Hatchet fans, and the nearly doubling in size of the jurisdiction patrolled by city police following the controversial annexation of the land that now comprises the Route 3 corridor and Central Park.
Although he joined the department at the age of 24 during a time of turmoil and change, Eddie’s 30-year career has been marked by nothing but steadfast dedication and commitment.
Starting out in the patrol division, Eddie rose through the ranks with regular progression throughout his career, as he was promoted to Corporal in 1987, to Sergeant in 1992, and to Lieutenant in 2004.
He served as a driver training instructor back when officers completed their driver training in-house, and Eddie also worked for many years as a field training instructor for new recruits.
Eddie was the Sergeant in charge of the Narcotics section in the Detective Division from April 1999 through July 2001, then moved to General Assignment in the Detective Division and stayed there until July 2006. He advanced in rank to Lieutenant while he was assigned to the Detective Division.
Also in 2006, Eddie attended the prestigious FBI National Academy for law enforcement leaders, and when he graduated from the National Academy in October of that year, he returned to the Patrol Division as a watch commander.
Back in 1985, when Eddie was still a young and relatively new patrol officer, he was recognized with an award from the Fredericksburg Jaycees as their Outstanding Officer of the Year. According to Eddie, his selection for that honor was largely due to his performance in one big burglary case. Although Eddie described his involvement in the case as “just regular police work”, it was obviously more than that since his boss, Chief Fleming, submitted his nomination for the award.
Eddie explained the incident by saying that he was called to a report of a fistfight on Germania Street in the city but by the time he got there, the fight had broken up. The men who were still on the scene gave Eddie a description of the other guys involved in the fight and their pickup truck, and they also told him that there was stuff in the back of the truck that had been stolen in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Eddie was able to find and stop the truck not too far away from where the fight occurred, and sure enough the pickup bed was full of equipment and valuables. Since the police in Montgomery County had not received a report of any kind of a burglary or theft, Eddie had to let the guys in the truck go. But before he released them, he got all of their identification information and he collected as many details as he could about the equipment in the back of the truck, including serial numbers. The next day, the Montgomery County police called back to say they did now have reports from multiple burglary victims, and could Eddie help them out? He was able to give them the names and addresses of their suspects and he was also able to definitively connect the stolen items he had seen in the truck with the cases in Maryland. The suspects, who were from Stafford, were arrested and later convicted of their crimes.
Eddie has always been a faithful public servant both to the community and to the Fredericksburg Police Department. When Chief Nye recently asked for his assistance, Eddie stepped up to the plate without hesitation and served as the Acting Captain of the Patrol Division from December 2013 until today, his final day on the job. Despite his impending retirement, Eddie agreed to take on added responsibility during his last few months with this department while we transitioned through a period of reorganization.
That same dedication and reliability was also demonstrated with his service to the College Heights Civic Association as its liaison officer, or single point of contact. Eddie Delano has been the single point of contact officer for the College Heights Civic Association since the program was first implemented in the mid-90’s, nearly 20 years ago. That sort of longevity and consistency in an assignment is very rare in this profession, and I know the members of the civic association have been very appreciative of his commitment to their concerns.
Eddie has integrity, he has kindness and composure no matter what the circumstances, and he is genuinely and universally well liked. While we at the PD are going to miss him very much, I know one little girl who is looking forward to spending even more time with her daddy.
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