Winston-Salem narrows down police chief search to four finalists

20 January 2023

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — The City of Winston-Salem is closing in on a decision for who will be the city’s next chief of police.

On Friday, the city announced that the four finalists are Winston-Salem Assistant Police Chiefs Jose “Manny” Gomez, William Penn Jr. and Wilson S. Weaver II, as well as Danville Police Chief Scott C. Booth.

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Retiring Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson

The new chief will replace Catrina A. Thompson who is retiring after nearly 30 years of service to the city. Thompson started her career as a police officer in 1994 and rose through the ranks until she became chief of police in 2017.

“Serving as Winston-Salem’s chief of police is one of the greatest honors of my public safety career,” Thompson said in her announcement. “I will always love this agency and believe in its mission. My commitment to law enforcement will always be strong as I truly respect, appreciate and support this noble profession.”

Gomez, Penn, Weaver and Booth will answer questions from the community at a public forum at 6 p.m. on Jan. 25 at the Salem Lake Marina at 815 Salem Lake Road.

The city expects to make a decision by the end of January.

Below are the city’s short biographies for each candidate.

Jose “Manny” Gomez

William Penn Jr.

Wilson S. Weaver II

Scott C. Booth

Jose “Manny” Gomez, Winston-Salem assistant police chief

Gomez currently leads the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, which houses the special investigations division, the firearms investigation and intelligence division and the Real Time Crime Center. He joined the Winston-Salem Police Department in 1999, and has served in the Field Services Bureau and the Special Operations Division. He has also served with the street crimes unit and the SWAT Team.

William Penn Jr., Winston-Salem assistant police chief

Penn currently commands the Investigative Services Bureau and has served as District 1 commander, support services commander and has worked with the foot patrol, vice and narcotics and crime prevention divisions. He has served with the police department for 25 years.

Wilson S. Weaver II, Winston-Salem assistant police chief

Weaver currently leads the Field Services Bureau. He specializes in the response, mitigation and resolution of high-risk incidents. He has served as lead instructor for anti-terrorism/homeland defense and in special operations, professional standards and the patrol division. He has been with the department for 38 years.

Scott C. Booth, Danville police chief

Booth has served as chief of police in Danville, Va., since 2018, where he has worked to reduce violent crime. He spent nearly 20 years with the Richmond Police Department, where he worked as both a patrol and undercover officer, and a detective in the vice/narcotics unit. He has also served as chief of police with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in Washington D.C. and was the deputy federal security director for the Charlotte region of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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