Congratulations on your new position.
“Thank you. We are very busy!”
Let’s jump right in with some background. Where are you from?
“I am originally from Cannon County. My parents are Charles and Betty Wilder. I went to elementary school and high school in Rutherford County.”
How did you come to the mountain?
“Well, I was working in Cannon County and in 2010 a new sheriff was elected. When he came in to office, he re-staffed and shortly after that, Chief Walker up here in Tracy City, who had worked for me Cannon County, gave me a call. He asked if I wanted a job. I came up, he drove me through town a few times, and I absolutely fell in love with the place. That was in 2011.
“I commuted for the first year. Then I found a small apartment.
“One of the greatest things to happen is that I met my wife Caroline – she goes by C.J.- up here, and we got married earlier this year, on March 15.”
What experience and training do you bring to the office of Chief?
“I have been very fortunate in my training. I have now been in law enforcement for 17 years. I began my career at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy and graduated there in 1999.
“I became a firearms instructor in 2000 and teach civilians and law enforcement officials all aspects of firearms training and I am a nationally accredited S.W.A.T. officer.
“I worked as a detective in Cannon County for eight years and was involved in solving several major crimes. I also received my clandestine lad certificate at the DEA Academy in Quantico, VA and have been on hundreds of meth lab cases.
“As far as my traditional education, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from MTSU in 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and minor in speech and theater.”
With your experience and training, what do you see as the biggest problem in the local area?
“Prescription drug abuse is one of the largest problems facing us right now. Unfortunately, it doesn’t just stop with the person abusing the drugs. For example, we see domestic issues that stem from prescription pill abuse.
“I have been working with several contacts I have made over the years and the State Inspector General’s Office and we have something we are working on for Tracy City.”
Now that you have spent some time in office, have you set any goals?
“I really want to continue to go the way Chief Bean set. He took this office from very little to where we are now. I want to continue the trend of moving forward and never backward.
“One exciting thing that new administration is doing, and I’m talking about throughout the county, is we are all meeting. Every other Saturday morning, Sheriff Shrum, Chief McNeese of Monteagle, and I get together for breakfast. We ask what we can do for each other, how we can help each other. It brings about a real cohesion.”
Chief Wilder teachers teaches handgun classes in Tracy City and he and C.J. own a vending machine business. He says when he is not at work he loves to spend time with his wife and ride his Harley. He has taken his bike on the “Tail of the Dragon” three times this year.