From school Safety Patrol to Detective, my story

Wilson Warner

Wilson Warner
Detective, Mount Vernon (OH) Police Department

Hi, my name is Wilson Warner. My story starts as a 6th grader and being voted Captain of our school safety patrol by my fellow classmates. I told a police officer then that worked with us kids, “I want to be a police officer just like you.”

I enlisted into the U.S. Army when I was 18 in July 1969 during the Vietnam War to become a Military Policeman. After graduating from Military Police school (B-12-4) in December I received additional training as a correctional specialist, class #508. After completing my schooling, my first duty assignment was Fort Benning Georgia in January 1970. I was assigned to the 139th Military Police Company and worked at the Post Stockade. Two notable and history making events took place during my tour of duty while there. One was the Lt. William Calley trial, involving the My Lai Massacre of the Vietnam War and the other was the post stockade rebellion, both in 1970. I was heavily involved in the latter. Then in December of that year I received orders for Vietnam and received RVN training. While at Fort Lewis they diverted 250 of us soldiers and our orders were cut and changed to Germany. I spent 1971 and early 1972 in Bad Kreuznach Germany, headquarters for the 8th Infantry Division as a line MP working with the German Polizei. I was then transferred to Mannheim Germany and assigned to the 77th MP Detachment, 15th MP Brigade. My duty while there was working at the largest stockade in Europe. I was discharged from the Military in February of 1972 and returned to civilian life.

In April of 1973 I was hired as a prison guard at Marion Correctional facility in Marion, Ohio. After working there for 7 months, I applied and was hired as a police officer in the Village of Danville, Ohio in October 1973. I received my training attending the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, basic police class 22. In December of that year while on patrol a young girl ran in front of my cruiser and she was engulfed in flames. She had doused herself in gasoline. I, along with help from two citizens, got her down and wrapped her in a wool blanket from my cruiser putting out the fire. This ended up saving her from further harm & probably her life. The following year or so after this incident she came up to me and introduced herself and thanked me for what I had done. Today she is living a very productive life. There is nothing more rewarding than that. I remember thinking, this is why I became a police officer.

After completing four years in the village of Danville, I took the civil service exam for the City of Mount Vernon, Ohio. On October 1, 1977, I was sworn in and appointed patrolman with the Mount Vernon Police Department. Mount Vernon is where I was born and raised so it was like going full circle and winding up back home. I had a great 21 1/2-year career and retired as a detective with the Mount Vernon Police Department on April 16, 1999. Notable cases I helped solve were a burglary ring that involved 3 states including thefts of multiple firearms. I was also involved with homicides and arson cases. There are far too many stories to tell while serving with Mount Vernon Police Department. Just know that I loved and respected the job and would do it all over again if asked.

I ended my law enforcement career working for the Mount Vernon Municipal Court as a process server/bailiff from December of 2003 to December 2005. I currently (July 2018) serve as a commissioner for the Knox County Veterans Service Office in Mount Vernon, Ohio representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars, post 4027. I am thankful and privileged to be a citizen of the United States of America which afforded me the opportunity to serve the people at the Federal, State, Village and City levels. God bless America and God bless our 1st responders.

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