Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Clearwater deputy chief Wilson settles into the job

CLEARWATER — Deputy Police Chief Sandra Wilson may be new to Clearwater, but she's no stranger to law enforcement.

The 48-year-old New York native has 25 years of experience, including 23 years with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Wilson joined the Clearwater Police Department this month, hired by Chief Anthony "Tony" Holloway to replace former Deputy Chief Dewey Williams, who retired in 2009 after more than three decades at the department.

Wilson said she did not know Holloway before interviewing with him but said she believes their philosophies are remarkably similar.

"I'm a big-picture thinker and he's obviously an innovative thinker," she said in a recent interview with the St. Petersburg Times.

During her tenure with FDLE, Wilson served as a regional homeland security logistics and response coordinator and worked in virtually every area of law enforcement, including violent crimes, economic crimes, narcotics, crimes against children and internal affairs.

Wilson said she expects her wide array of experience and resources gained through the department will help her in her new position.

It was mere happenstance that drew her to law enforcement 25 years ago. A friend at the University of Florida Police Department mentioned an opening and she applied. After spending just a few months with the department, she was recruited by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

Within two years, another recruiter came calling, this time from the FDLE. Wilson spent about 15 years as a special agent with the department before being promoted to special agent supervisor in 2002.

Wilson shrugs off the fact she is Clearwater's first female deputy chief in a field still dominated by men.

"That has never been a prevalent force in my career," she said. "Like anything else, your work speaks for you. Once colleagues see you're able to perform your duties, the acceptance level rises."

Wilson said she still is getting acclimated to her new city and hopes to become a more visible presence in the community in the coming weeks.

"I'm just looking forward to 2011 when I have both feet on the ground," she said.

In addition to adopting a new city, Wilson is in the process of another adoption with heartfelt ramifications.

She hopes to soon be the legal parent of her 1-year-old godson.

Wilson declined to discuss the circumstances that led to the baby being taken into state custody last year, citing privacy concerns for the child. She has been caring for him since March.

Wilson's eyes lit up as she talked about the "adorable" little boy named Darrel.

"Being a parent … I'm loving every minute of it," she said.

Rita Farlow can be reached at or (727) 445-4157.

Sandra Wilson

Age: 48

Born: Huntington, N.Y.

Family: Single, with a 1-year-old son, Darrel

Education: Bachelor of science degree, recreation, University of Florida, 1984; Advanced theology degree, Faith Christian University, Orlando, 2003; master of science degree, business administration, University of Phoenix, Orlando, 2005.

Professional: Special agent supervisor, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 2002-2010; special agent, FDLE, 1987-2002; deputy sheriff, Alachua County Sheriff's Office, 1985-1987; police officer, University of Florida Police Department, 1985.

Religion: Pentecostal, non-denominational; member of Time of Refreshing Christian Worship Center, 15 years.

New Clearwater deputy chief Wilson settles into the job 12/25/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 24, 2010 9:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After fraught debate, Trump to disclose new Afghanistan plan


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will unveil his updated Afghanistan policy Monday night in a rare, prime-time address to a nation that broadly shares his pessimism about American involvement in the 16-year conflict. Although he may send a few thousand more troops, there are no signs of a major shift in …

    U.S. soldiers patrol the perimeter of a weapons cache near the U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan in 2003. Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents as strong as ever and the nation's future precarious. Facing a quagmire, President Donald Trump on Monday will outline his strategy for a country that has historically snared great powers and defied easy solutions.  [Associated Press (2003)]
  2. Trial begins for man accused of threatening to kill Tampa federal judge


    TAMPA — Jason Jerome Springer was in jail awaiting trial on a firearms charge when he heard inmates talking about a case that had made the news.

    Jason Jerome Springer, 39, is accused of threatening to kill a U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich, according to a federal indictment.  |Hernando County Sheriff's Office photo]
  3. Editorial: Tampa Electric customers should not pay for utility's fatal misjudgments


    There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers. Monetary considerations will not begin to …

    LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers.
  4. Superior Uniform acquires Los Angeles-based PublicIdentity


    SEMINOLE — A subsidiary of Seminole-based Superior Uniform Group has acquired Los Angeles-based branded merchandise company PublicIdentity Inc.

    Superior Uniform Group CEO Michael Benstock
[Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]
  5. Money is the issue as Hillsborough strains to fix school air conditioners


    TAMPA — With more than 200 repair requests tumbling in every day, school officials in Hillsborough County are broadening their circle of air conditioning mechanics as they struggle to control a debilitating cycle of breakdowns and sweltering classrooms.

    Hillsborough school officials want to expand the number of contractors who work on broken school air conditioning systems. But it all gets rolled into a workload that has increased by 40 percent since 2011. "With no increase in budget, no increase in equipment and no increase in manpower, and as the equipment gets older and needs more maintenance, this is going to continue to grow," said Robert Weggman, general manager of maintenance." [