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Daughter ‘very pleased’ with city response

The daughter of former Suffolk Police Chief Jimmy Wilson said it was a misunderstanding that led to confusion about whether the family felt the city’s response to his death was adequate.

Sharen Wilson McGlothen said in a Wednesday phone interview that the family was satisfied with the city’s response to her father’s death. Wilson, 73, who served as the police chief in Suffolk from 1997 until 2002, died May 30 in Durham, N.C.

“I’m very pleased with the city,” she said. “Everything is fine. I think there was a misunderstanding.”

City officials had defended their response to Wilson’s family after the Rev. Carlton R. Upton Sr. told City Council last week that the city should have been more sensitive to the family and it should have sent them a proclamation for Wilson’s celebration of life.

“I just wanted to say the city did a great job, and I apologize for any misunderstanding that I may have created or caused with the city and … Upton,” Wilson McGlothen said.

She said Upton only wanted to ensure that her father’s memory was honored, and said he was doing what he felt was right.

“I don’t think he did anything wrong,” she said.

Upton, who had spoken to Wilson McGlothen and her brother, spoke at the City Council meeting to criticize the response.

“I was told that we don’t send proclamations to every city official person who passed,” Upton said. “I understand that. … But when you have someone who has represented the city for five years as a chief law enforcement person, I believe that this city owes it to the family.”

That prompted Mayor Linda T. Johnson to reply that she, too, had spoken to Wilson McGlothen and said she had received “very nice comments” about the city’s response. City Manager Patrick Roberts also noted what steps the city had taken to reach out to Wilson’s family, including sending a delegation to the former chief’s services and offering other support and recognition.

Wilson McGlothen said she has since reached out to Upton and to the mayor’s office to apologize for the misunderstanding.

“I’m very, very pleased for what the city did for my father,” she said.