Name: Gregory Scott Bolen
Family Members: Wife-Cheryl, Daughters- Tiffannie Branch, Whitney Perry, Son- Alan Bolen, Grandson-Chase Tatum Branch.
Occupation and why you selected it: Chief of Police-Town of Hillsville. I’d like to think that this job selected me. I had a family member and good friend, Deriek Crouse, who died in the line of duty last December at Virginia Tech. Deriek’s death left a feeling of emptiness inside of me from a law enforcement perspective. I felt like there was more that I could be doing to help preserve his sacrifice and honor him. His funeral was tough for more than one reason, but seeing how his Virginia Tech family surrounded him and paid tribute to him was an amazing testament. That dedication solidified my decision to return to law enforcement on a full time basis. The timing worked out, suddenly I had a chance to earn my job as chief of police, honor my friend and fallen brother, and serve the citizens of my hometown in the process. It is truly an honor for me to be in this position and have an opportunity to be a vital part of this community.
What clubs, groups and church do you belong: I am a member of the Carroll Wellness Center. I serve on their standards committee. I am a member of the First United Methodist Church, (But like many I need to devote more time to the church.) I serve on the board of directors for the New River Valley Criminal Justice Training Academy.
Education: A.A.S. Police Science- Wytheville Community College-2009. B.S. Police Science- Old Dominion University-2013. Currently working towards my Master’s Degree in Police Administration at Old Dominion University and minor in psychology.
What is something most people don’t know about you: That I’m a history nerd, a grandpa, (want to see pictures?) and that I believe the world was a much greater place before the internet!
You are a huge UVa fan. Have you ever had the urge to arrest somebody just for being a Virginia Tech fan?: Chuck Thompson would be high on my list of offenders if I could get by with this as a chargeable offense. For the record, I became a HUGE HOKIE supporter after Deriek’s death. I actually have a hat that I wear to show my support for the Hokie Nation and all that they have done for his family!
Favorite memory or memories from your basketball playing days at Carroll County High School?: First, without question my teammates. We were a very close-knit group and when we see each other today you couldn’t tell a day has passed. People underestimate what being a part of something special like a basketball team is about. It’s much like what I’m hoping to accomplish here at the police department. We are a team striving for a common goal and we depend on each other through good and bad times to make it work. You become close, like family, and are happy with team and individual success. Secondly, during my senior year we had just won a hard fought home game and our cheering section “The Groovers” started chanting for us to come into the stands. The entire varsity Cavalier team filled the bleachers and was greeted by high fives, pats on the back, and hugs from our fan faithful. That was my proudest moment as a Cavalier, we as a team showed respect to our home crowd for their support.
Be honest, what is the best doughnut joke you ever heard, and do they bother you?: A student of mine named Acey Marshall, asked me after I had been appointed chief, if that meant I got the biggest doughnut. That was during a test and needless to say it took a while for me and the rest of the students to stop laughing. They never bother me, I love hearing what new ones are out there.
Favorite food: Chicken, steak, (I do miss Main Street Grill’s foot long hotdogs!)
Favorite athlete and why, and favorite sports team: My favorite athlete would have to be a tie between Howie Long and Bo Jackson. My favorite sports team of all time is and will always be the Oakland Raiders. Howie Long and Bo Jackson both played for the raiders and made lasting impressions on me. Howie was a great representative of his team; you never heard any negative behavior or comments from him, plus he was a beast at defensive end. Bo Jackson because he probably is the greatest athlete I ever saw. He played two major league sports, football and baseball. Who knows where he’d rank if he had not got hurt. Watch an old film clip of him running across an outfield wall to make a catch if you want to be amazed at his ability.
Share your most favorite memory in your life to date: My kids being born, my wife saying yes, my grandson hugging me and saying “I love you so much Pa Pa!”
Name something you find very irritating and why: People who forget where they came from. Moving forward doesn’t mean as much if you fail to look back at the lessons and people who got you to where you are.
What is the best advice you were ever given and who gave it: Two fold, First my dad told me that money, job, or family time doesn’t mean a whole lot if you don’t have your health to enjoy them. Take care of your health. This inspired me to become a work-out junkie. Next, John Wooden had a famous quote that has always stuck with me. I always kept it pinned up on my wall in my classroom at CCIS. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” I know of several students who benefitted from this advice.
What else would you like the people of Carroll County to know about you and/or the Hillsville Police Department? That I work for our town, our citizens, and our council. I am here to serve the public to the very best of my ability. My door is always open, and our department will be dedicated to providing service with respect and compassion whenever needed. Our department is bigger than one person and we as a united department will be dedicated to providing such services as needed. As a department we look forward to working with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police, and other surrounding jurisdictions to make the crime fighting effort as successful as it can be. I would also like to thank the Hillsville Town Council, all town employees, and especially the citizens for the opportunity to serve them as their Chief of Police.