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Trailblazing police officer leaving the beat


After 23 years of service, a Wilmington police officer is starting a new chapter in her life.

Ofc. Verna Atwood is the first African-American woman to reach full retirement as a Wilmington police officer. When Atwood joined the force in 1987, she was one of a select few women officers working for the department. The department honored Atwood's service this afternoon by presenting her with a plaque, among other gifts.

Atwood is a Wilmington native and says she's excited about turning a new page in her life.

"Getting up at 4:30 in the morning, it's nice to not have to do that," she said. "And to be in it this long and still be sane and healthy, that's a blessing."

Atwood says her retirement will consist of a lot of traveling. Jamaica is her first destination.

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Congratulations Retired Officer Atwood!!!!
Please enjoy your time in Jamaica as you have earned it by keeping this city as "clean" as you could do.
I have not met you, nor do I know you.
However, I know that you did your job well as you would not have been able to serve for 23 years.
I personally am thinking about a career change into law enforcement, this just motivates me even more.
Congrats again!

I Did know this lady...

through her presence occasionally down at Family Dollar Store. She seemed professional and nice at the same time.

I will miss her as well as Pat Pridgen, another great officer.

Most people go through life unaware of these unsung heros who walk amongst us.

God bless them all!