By Sally Voth -- email@example.com
WOODSTOCK -- By accepting the job of Woodstock police chief, Eric Reiley achieved his dream of bringing his family home.
The Woodstock Town Council unanimously approved the appointment of the Virginia State Police lieutenant at its meeting Tuesday. He takes the post March 19.
Former town officer Robert "Porky" Bowman Jr. has served as interim chief since Bryan Hutcheson stepped down at the first of the year to become Rockingham County sheriff.
Reiley, 41, and his wife, Amber, are both graduates of Strasburg High School.
"We have deep ties here," he said. "I've been fortunate to be promoted several times within the state police and have accepted assignments all around the commonwealth."
The Reileys decided they wanted to move back to the Shenandoah Valley when they had kids. Their daughter, Erin, is 7 and son, Joshua, is 4.
"We've been working for a number of years to get back home," Reiley said. "We're not going anywhere. I'm here to offer some stability to the department."
He was transferred into the Culpeper division 1 1/2 years ago. There, he oversees six offices and about 170 employees.
"Having responsibility for such a wide area, so many people, it really pulls my time and attention away from the community," said Reiley, who lives in Woodstock.
He coaches Little League and youth soccer, while his wife is a Scout leader.
Before going to work in Culpeper, Reiley was a lieutenant in the Northern Virginia area, and also had experience with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and overseeing the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Reiley has a degree in political science from James Madison University, and has completed some graduate course work through the University of Virginia.
Reiley said the Woodstock Police Department has long had a good reputation, and remembers listening to stories about the officers when he worked at Safeway in his youth.
"Whenever they talked about their interaction with Woodstock, it was always positive, it was always professional," he recalled. "I don't have to come in and start fixing things, or start changing things right away."
Reiley said he plans to talk to his officers about their initiatives, concerns and issues.
He will be paid an annual salary of $70,000, Town Manager Larry Bradford said.
Mayor Jeremy McCleary said he's excited the town has Reiley as its new chief.
"He's got supervisory experience," McCleary said. "[He's] very well-respected in law enforcement and great local connections. Not only is he a native of Shenandoah County, but his family has been here for over 250 years, very deep roots in this area. We're very happy to have him."
He added he was grateful for Bowman's service to the town.