Williamsburg fire chief, human services director to retire later this year

Staff writer

Williamsburg Fire Chief Pat Dent will step down July 1, while Human Services Director Peter Walentisch will retire from his post May 1, according to a city news release.

Walentisch joined the city’s staff in August 1990 as social services director and has been part of several changes in the department throughout the years. Walentisch also previously served as the city’s human services director, as well as the executive director of the Williamsburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Dent came on board in February 2009 as deputy fire chief, but was promoted a year later following the retirement of Chief T.K. Weiler, the release states. As fire chief, Dent has improved the city’s public protection classification rating, placing the city’s fire department in the top 2 percent in the county.

Together, Dent and Walentisch created and coordinate the city’s Community Emergency Response Team and Neighborhood Response Team program, which trains volunteers in a nationally recognized FEMA program for community disaster preparedness.

“Both Peter and Pat have been exceptional public servants and leaders in their respective professions,” City Manager Andrew Trivette said in the release. “You never want to lose the kind of talent these men bring to a community, but you always want to celebrate their decision to retire and enjoy time with family and friends.”

The city will now begin a search to fill the two positions. The city’s Human Resources Office will begin advertising the human services position in mid-April, and will close the application process in mid-May, the release states.

An interim fire chief will be named by the end of May. The position will be advertised beginning in June, and the application process will close in mid-July.

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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