When Deane began as chief, the county had 200,000 residents. It has since doubled in population. When the Board of County Supervisors jumped into the national immigration debate in 2007 and became one of the first places to require the police department to question residents about their immigration status, Deane thought otherwise. He feared cries of racial profiling and losing the trust of the county's growing immigrant community. His stance angered his bosses on the county board and many residents who thought he was flouting the law. Deane used his decades of goodwill to persuade the board to change its policy. The department would check a person's immigration status only after an arrest.
Just shy of his 67th birthday, Prince William County, Va., Police Chief Charlie Deane plans to retire, reports the Washington Post. He started 42 years ago in what was then a sleepy outpost of dairy farms. Now the county is a bustling Washington, D.C., bedroom community. Law enforcement officials across the U.S. consider Deane one of the best in the field, having distinguished himself on the immigration issue but also for leading his department through notable crimes, including the Washington area sniper shootings and the East Coast Rapist investigation.