By Crystal Burns
New Trenton Patrolman Wilson Chute took the long way to obtaining his certification.
Chute, 22, was hired to the Trenton Police Department in November 2019. He went to the state police academy in January, where, eight weeks in, he dislocated his knee and was sent home.
Academy officials agreed that Chute could finish his remaining five weeks with a new class in May, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the class. Chute had to wait until the end of August to complete his time. He graduated Thursday, but COVID-19 interfered with the tradition of the police chief and mayor attending the ceremony.
As a fitting substitute, Police Chief Bill Cusson invited the mayor, officers, and Chute’s family to the Teapot Museum for a reception Friday morning.
“This is a very, very special time,” Cusson said. “We know the amount of work [Wilson] had to put in to get here today.”
Cusson said Chute has impeccable character and treats people with respect and dignity.
“We’re very excited that you’re certified,” he told Chute.
Chute, a native of Jackson, said a career in law enforcement was in the back of his mind for some time.
“When I graduated high school, it clicked that that’s what I wanted to do,” he said.
In Tennessee, men and women must be at least 21 to apply for police jobs. Between graduation and his 21st birthday, Chute took advantage of two free years of education at a Tennessee College of Applied Technology and worked at the Madison County jail while working out and preparing for a career in law enforcement.
Chute said he’s enjoying working in Trenton.
“I really like the guys I work with,” he said.
Chute said he talks to friends in law enforcement whose chiefs don’t even know their names. The Trenton department is more closely connected and allows him to do a variety of things.
“I can do a little bit of everything here,” he said.
Chute’s parents, sister, and girlfriend joined him for Friday’s reception.