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Town remembering former police chief Widener

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By Dwane Wilder

JACKSBORO—Friends and colleagues are remembering former Caryville Police Chief Bill Widener, who died Oct. 2, as a professional lawman with a heart for the people he served.

Widener led the Caryville Police Department for 24 years before turning the reigns over to his assistant chief, Johnny Jones. Prior to that, Widener served 14 years with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department.

Scott Collins, who is currently city administrator in Fayetteville,  was Caryville’s mayor during Widener’s tenure there and has many fond memories of his former police chief.

“I had the pleasure of serving with Chief Widener from 1992 to ’99, and we still maintained an excellent friendship,” said Collins.

“First and foremost, he was a very dedicated professional and an exceptional police chief. What really set him apart was his compassion for the people of his community.”

Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Darryl Chapman said he worked under Widener for six years at Caryville, beginning in 1995.

“What you saw was what you got with Bill. He was a wise and sincere man,” said Chapman.

“He was a true policeman and really understood all aspects of it. He understood people. I think that was the secret to his success.”

Widener was a U.S. Army veteran, Boy Scout leader and was presently serving as chairman of the Campbell County E-911 Board with 15 years of service. He leaves behind a wife, a daughter and three grandsons, as well as a brother and sister and their families.

See Widener’s obituary on this page.