November 16, 2023

VBPD Promotes Two New Deputy Chiefs

Please join us in congratulating Jeffery Wilkerson and William Zelms on this well-earned achievement.

The Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) held a ceremony today in City Council Chambers to promote its newest Deputy Chiefs: Jeffery Wilkerson and William Zelms.

In their new roles, Wilkerson will oversee the Department’s Administrative Division and Zelms will oversee its Support Division.

Wilkerson is a veteran of the United States Army Infantry and a 29-year veteran of VBPD, most recently serving as the Commanding Officer of the Special Investigations Bureau. As a captain, he has also commanded the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Third Precinct. He has served in a multitude of assignments including all four Precincts and the Special Operations Bureau, to include the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit and the Traffic Safety Unit. Wilkerson holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Saint Leo University and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Troy University. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice from the University of Virginia and a Graduate Certificate in Command Officer Management from St. Leo University.

Zelms has served VBPD since 2001, most recently as the Commanding Officer of the Training Bureau. During his tenure as a captain, he has also commanded the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Technology and Special Projects Bureau. Additionally, Zelms has served as Executive Aide to the Chief, Support Division Lieutenant, Crime Prevention Sergeant, and Community Policing Sergeant. He has successfully managed and overseen the implementation of several multi-million-dollar, large-scale technology initiatives and other special projects including the VBPD Headquarter renovation, Axon Eco-system, Oceanfront Camera System Expansion, ShotSpotter, and more. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from University of Richmond and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University.

Chief Paul Neudigate is elated to add these two new deputy chiefs to the existing leadership team where they will help ensure the VBPD remains a leader at the forefront of policing. “Our profession demands continuous improvement and change,” said Chief Neudigate of the promotions, “Both Captains Wilkerson and Zelms have demonstrated a commitment to continuous growth, evolving professionally through external training and learning opportunities. They have shown exceptional dedication, outstanding performance, and unwavering commitment to the Department and its goals.”

This promotion is a testament to their hard work, leadership skills, and the positive impact they have made on VBPD. We have full confidence that they will excel in their new position and continue to contribute significantly to the success of our team.

Please join us in congratulating them both on this well-earned achievement.

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