Local trooper will serve as new town of Louisa police chief
The town of Louisa has hired former Virginia State Police Trooper Jessie Shupe to take over the reins of the town’s police department.
The 28-year-old Wythe County native spent eight years with the VSP before recently resigning to take the position of police chief.
“I think the town really needs someone who can offer stability and longevity and that’s something I have to offer,” Shupe said.
The town has experienced difficulty finding a police chief willing to take up roots in the town and has had several interim chiefs in the past couple of years.
Brian Marks, town manager, said Shupe has excellent law enforcement experience and being a local candidate was an important factor in the decision making process.
“We were looking for someone to provide continuity for the police department and Jessie certainly has strong ties to the community,” he said.
While Shupe began his law enforcement career in Wythe County, he moved to Louisa after graduating from the VSP academy and being assigned to patrol the roads of Louisa County, which he did for six years.
He served on the Louisa County Transportation Safety Commission from 2007 until 2011 and served as chairman for two of those years.
Under his chairmanship, the commission instituted the child seat inspection program, which is offered through the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office.
Shupe gave up his post at the commission after being assigned to the VSP’s Counter Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction Unit.
The three-man unit patrols the entire state and the job required Shupe to spend an enormous amount of time away from his wife Brittany, a Louisa native, their two-year-old son Bryson and their three-week-old daughter Brieleigh.
Shupe said he is excited about the new position which he has prepared for throughout his career.
“It’s the right opportunity in the right place and at the right time,” he said.
Shupe received an associate’s degree in police science from Wythe Community College and a bachelor’s degree in management and leadership from Bluefield College, graduating with a 4.0 GPA.
He plans on pursuing a double master’s degree in management and leadership from Liberty University after he settles in to the new job.
Shupe said that working in small towns and large agencies has exposed him to a variety of techniques and initiatives that will help the town.
Some of his plans include building on what he started with the Transportation Safety Commission by having town officers become certified child car seat installers and he hopes to offer free inspections at community events.
He would also like for all of the town’s officers to become certified in crime prevention, which would enable them to offer locals valuable crime deterrent advice.
Shupe said he plans on holding annual or biannual town-hall style meetings with the public to facilitate effective communication between the department, town businesses and residents.
Shupe said he looks forward to working with the town’s officers as well as building on initiatives started by former Police Chief A.J. Panebianco and current Interim Police Chief Doug Davis.
Marks said that he appreciated Davis filling in while the town worked through the replacement process.
“I hate to see him go,” Marks said. “But I know Jessie will do an incredible job for the community.”
Shupe officially begins his duties on August 10.
“I am very excited and eager to get back into the community,” Shupe said.