The Virginia State Police last week promoted Rappahannock County native and Culpeper division criminal-investigations head Gary Settle to deputy director of VSP’s statewide Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) in Richmond.
Sperryville resident Settle, 53, replaces Maj. Rick A. Jenkins — another former captain of criminal investigations in the Culpeper division. Jenkins moves up to BCI director, replacing the retiring Lt. Col. H.C. Davis.
As of Saturday (July 25), Settle becomes one of just three ranking majors in the state police organization.
“I will tell you, I am very humbled by this opportunity,” Settle said Monday. “Acquiring the rank of major is a very competitive process, and to be selected is an honor. I look forward to the challenge.”
Settle said he will keep his home in Rappahannock and will continue to serve on the county planning commission and volunteer his services to the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department. “I’m a Rappahannock guy and I’ll always have a place here,” he said, noting that his current post in Culpeper already requires significant travel to and from Richmond and elsewhere.
The Bureau of Criminal Investigation is the investigative arm of the Virginia State Police and consists of seven field offices around the state. Within each field office, there is a General Investigation Section (GIS) and a Drug Enforcement Section (DES). BCI also consists of the Criminal Intelligence Division, Counter-Terrorism & Criminal Interdiction Unit and the High Tech Crimes Division. Settle will oversee all of the aforementioned field offices and divisions.
Settle attributed his successes throughout his 30-plus years in law enforcement to the unconditional support of his wife, Kelly Jo Settle, and also to “fellow law enforcement professionals who have served as mentors.” Settle said that he is “truly blessed to have great family support and to have been surrounded by positive role models from different disciplines.”
Settle started his career in 1984 as a deputy with the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office. He joined the state police two years later, patrolling Frederick and Clarke counties as a trooper until 1992, when he was promoted to sergeant. In the last 25 years, Settle has served as a special agent, sergeant, first sergeant, field lieutenant, DES lieutenant and captain. He also served two tours of duty in the state police’s Wytheville division as a supervisor.
In 1996, he was elected sheriff of Rappahannock County, where he served until 2000, returning afterwards to the state police.
Settle holds a master’s in homeland security and defense from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and a bachelor’s in the criminal justice administration. He is also a graduate of the University of Virginia National Criminal Justice Command College and the National Sheriff’s Institute executive management program.
Settle has been involved in numerous high profile investigations throughout his law enforcement career, including the 2002 sniper shootings and the 2007 Virginia Tech crisis.
Settle said on Monday that the posting “just went up today” for his replacement as captain of the criminal investigation bureau for the Culpeper division.
Settle noted that he was promoted to the captain’s post in Culpeper on July 25, 2010, “five years ago to the day.”