Chilson to head CID

By Larry Tucker
Posted 1/21/21

A local veteran police officer has taken the reins as captain of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for the Wood County Sheriff’s Department.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Chilson to head CID


A local veteran police officer has taken the reins as captain of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for the Wood County Sheriff’s Department.

Captain Mike Chilson, 38, was chosen by Wood County Sheriff Kelly Cole. Chilson had previously been an officer in the Quitman Police Department (QPD) since 2013 serving under Cole when he was the QPD chief.

Chilson has law enforcement in his background.

“Law enforcement has been in my family forever,” he said. “My grandfather was regional inspector general for the southwest region of the Department of Justice. That’s why we were in El Paso at the time. My uncle was the youngest detective in El Paso Police Department history. For me, law enforcement is a family business.”

Chilson has fond memories of his grandfather and uncle.

“I remember when my uncle would come home for lunch and when he would leave, he would turn on the red and blues when leaving my grandparents house,” Chilson recalled. “I remember playing in my grandpa’s car which was an unmarked department vehicle. He had one of those old school red lights on top of the car.” 

He is originally from El Paso and moved to the Austin area after elementary school where he graduated from Leander High School. Chilson was employed for a while as the manager of a sports bar in Cedar Park and also worked as a bouncer on Sixth Street in Austin.

Chilson came to Wood County for an opportunity to serve as a jailer in 2010. He served Wood County under sheriffs Bill Wansley and briefly Jim Brown.

“I went to the first police academy here and that’s where I got to know Sheriff Cole,” Chilson noted. “I was a reserve officer for Quitman PD for a little while and got hired full-time. I was serving there as patrol lieutenant and also helped with investigations. With the city, I worked everything from Class C thefts to murder.”

Chilson feels relationships are important for a police officer. “Knowing your community is important because community relations are a vital part of the job. I believe in integrity and always doing the right thing,” Chilson added. “The goal is to solve as many crimes as we can.”

Chilson hopes to have a full department with four officers working cases. “Right now we have two in our department and have hired a third. When we are fully staffed, there will be four officers working in the CID unit,” he said. 

Chilson said the investigations start with the patrol deputy who takes the call.

 “A deputy will take the initial report on any crimes committed, whether it is assaults, murder and burglaries, it runs the gamut,” Chilson said. “If they don’t make an arrest on site or don’t recover anything on site, it gets forwarded to us and at that point we will exhaust all our leads and try to find property and suspects.”

Illegal drugs are still the county’s big problem facing law enforcement, he said.

“As far as the county as a whole, I do believe, like most everybody else out there, unfortunately, that drugs are a huge issue,” Chilson concluded. “With the drugs we have in our area, we also get the thefts, assaults and the drugs are the issue for a majority of the crimes committed in the county. It’s not always local drug users, but people coming into the county. Stolen property, burglaries and property crimes can be traced to drugs.”

Chilson believes the role of law enforcement is important regardless of the situation.

“In this job it could be the 1,000th barking dog call you have gotten or something that might seem trivial to you. But that person who has called 9-1-1, it’s the biggest thing to happen to them in their life that day,” Chilson said. “Some things are never going to be OK, but to give some type of closure to folks and just to be able to help them is important.”

Chilson and his wife, Jenny, live in the Alba area with their three dogs.