Lieutenant Paul Wilder


Paul was born July 5, 1940 in Sycamore Township, the youngest son born to Silas Wilder of Hubble, Kentucky, and Hilda (Weber) Wilder of Indiana. He attended Sharonville High School where he played football and participated in track, the annual staff, the band, and other activities. He graduated in 1958.

Paul married Dorothy Jean Thomas in September 1963. By then, he had already worked in Sharon Woods as a Hamilton County Park Ranger and was currently employed as a Silverton Patrolman and remained so until July 1964.

On August 1, 1964, Patrolman Wilder joined the Blue Ash Police Department and was already recognized as one of the top revolver marksmen in Hamilton County. During May 1966, Patrolman Wilder was commended by the Blue Ash City Council for his capture of a Reading robbery suspect within 15 minutes of the robbery. In August 1967, he took first place in an annual Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 74 (FOP) shoot. He tied for first in another one in October 1967. By November 1967, Patrolman Wilder was already a presenter for the department, speaking to the Blue Ash Woman’s Club about policing problems. He took first place in another FOP shoot in January 1968 and second place in August 1968. Also in August, Patrolman Wilder was commended by the City Council for “scoring at or near the top in eight of ten” FOP shoots. In April 1969, he received one of the top policemen of the year awards from the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. By then Patrolman Wilder was competing in several regional shoots with many other departments and, in the case of the Cincinnati Revolver Club, against civilian and military marksmen. For at least 17 years, he was very often finishing in the top three, including many firsts.

In 1970, he finished second on a Lieutenant’s promotional examination, and was not immediately promoted. He was, however, appointed acting Police Chief as a Patrolman. Then, when another Chief was appointed, Patrolman Wilder was appointed acting Sergeant. By 1971, he was officially promoted to Police Specialist, and then assigned to supervise the First Relief. On June 8, 1971, he was appointed temporary Lieutenant and acting Chief again. Finally, on July 27, 1971, he was promoted to Lieutenant. Exactly one year later, on July 27, 1972, he was additionally assigned a Canine partner, a German Shepherd named Boston. He continued as a Canine Handler until at least 1980. By 1977, he was also their new Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team Leader. By 1978, Lieutenant Wilder graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, one of the four top secondary law enforcement education facilities in the country. Lieutenant Wilder retired on October 23, 1981, with almost 20 years of service.

Lieutenant Wilder developed dementia and on December 12, 2023 walked away from his home, fell, and suffered significant injuries. He died peacefully on December 29, 2023 at 8:20 a.m. at the age of 83.

He is predeceased in 2019 by his wife of 56 years, Dorothy Jean (Thomas) Wilder, and brothers, Gary Wilder and Elwood Rovekamp. Lieutenant Wilder is survived by his son, Mark Allen Wilder.

A Celebration of Life will be held 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at the Sharonville Masonic Lodge, 11176 Maple Street. Food and drink will be provided.

Memorials may be made to to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Tunnel to Towers Foundation .


© 2023 – All rights reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum