Patrolman Wesley Yonce was named interim police chief for Hillsville during the Hillsville Town Council meeting on July 14.
Following a two-hour closed session, Vice-Mayor Ed Terry made a motion naming Yonce for the position and Sulphur Springs Councilman Bill Tate provided the second. Pipers Gap Councilman David Young voted in favor of the motion and Laurel Fork Councilman Greg Yonce abstained, since the nominee is his brother.
Following the meeting, Terry said, “One of the reasons behind council’s decision was Yonce is not interested in pursuing the permanent position of police chief. That clears the way for other officers, including (Junior) Alderman, to seek the position.”
Terry added that council was very satisfied with Yonce’s time with the department, “but also pleased with the actions of the department under the leadership of Cpt. Junior Alderman.”
After Police Chief Greg Bolen submitted his resignation on June 30, Alderman, the department’s second in command, took charge of police operations. Bolen’s resignation is effective July 16.
As for Bolen’s resignation, Terry said, “This was by no means coerced by council. We asked Bolen to stay on and work with council before he tendered his resignation.”
Yonce, who has been a member of the police department for 15 years, echoed Terry’s earlier statement.
“I’m not filing for the police chief position. I just want to continue to work as a patrolman and then retire,” said Yonce.
Prior to the motion concerning an interim police chief, council unanimously approved the advertising of the position in several law enforcement publications, as well as local papers.
Michael Howlett can be contacted at 276-728-7311 or on Twitter @MikeEHowlett