Like father, like son
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
We’ve all heard it said that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In the case of Chief Delaney Wilson and his son Cameron, it is certainly true.
“He’s been alive the entire time that I’ve been doing this,” said Delaney.
“He was born in May and I started with the Edmonton Police Department in June of 1996.”
At the age of 11, the chief retired his leather gear belt and gave it to Cameron.
“I like to play with it around the house and pretend to be an officer, and that ignited the thought that I might really want to do it someday,” Cameron said.
One year, he even went so far as being Gibbs from CSI for Halloween.
However, his father did not encourage the notion. Since both his father and mother Beth, who is a dispatcher, had worked in the field of law enforcement for decades, they knew the rewards, dangers, and challenges of life and law.
“I think they wanted me to go to college or pick something different,” Cameron said. Taking his parent’s wishes into consideration, after high school he went to nursing school.
“I learned quickly that although I wanted to help people, that I wanted to help them in a different way,” said Cameron. At that time he joined the workforce and had a more typical five day a week job. It was not fulfilling. Again, he turned his sights to law enforcement.
While in nursing school he met his future wife Ashley. Once they were married, he mentioned the idea again to his parents of becoming a law enforcement officer.
“I advised him to wait until the honeymoon phase is over, it’s not easy on a new marriage,” said Delaney, but his son’s heart was set on being like Dad.
Without telling his parents, he applied to go to the Academy. In a strange twist of fate, it was actually the academy in Bowling Green who first tipped Delaney off to the fact that his son had applied.
“They were doing his background check, and they don’t typically call the family for that, but considering my history in law-enforcement they saw it a little differently. To be honest, I was torn about whether I should help him or not,” Delaney said.
Ultimately, putting his fears and concerns aside, he wanted to see his son’s dream come true as much as Cameron did and he encouraged the process.
He started his law enforcement journey by joining the Academy in June 2020, and in November 2020 he became a Bowling Green city police officer.
Even though it’s all new to him, he says that growing up with his father and mother he knew what to expect. There are of course some variables.
The biggest difference between his father’s experience and his own is the size of the towns they serve.
“Down in Bowling Green you might have 40,000 people in just your sector, and here I have 1,700 in the whole city,” said Delaney.
“On a Friday or Saturday night with the people that pour in from surrounding counties for shopping and dining, the college students and residents, we are policing 110,000 people,” Cameron said.
Another drastic difference is that here in Edmonton, chief Wilson knows basically everyone he is dealing with. In Bowling Green, Cameron rarely sees a familiar face. One of the greatest challenges, Cameron says is the language barrier with over 60 languages being spoken in the city of Bowling Green, due to the college, International Center, and influx of a growing city.
Now that it is said and done, Chief Wilson is happy to see his son accomplish his dream.
“The Bowling Green Police Department has a lot of good officers, an excellent training program, and I realize now that Cameron understood a lot about the reality of the job, unlike a lot of kids who see it on TV,” said Delaney.
Chief Wilson’s youngest son Ty is still only 17, but has expressed some interest in the forensic field, but only time will tell if it will be a family tradition too.
As for Cameron, he sees himself as an officer for life. “There are a lot of different avenues you can go through in the Bowling Green Police Department. I definitely enjoy where I am and I plan to build on what I’m learning and grow,” he said.