Police

The Gaston County Police Department was created by Legislative Act on July 1, 1957 and began operation with a chief, a secretary and 23 sworn officers. At that time the Department was primarily responsible for providing police service to the unincorporated areas of the county. Since that time, however, additional duties and responsibilities have been given to the Gaston County Police. Today, the Department employs 153 sworn officers who provide police services to a community of approximately 90,000 residents and spanning an area of over 270 square miles that along with the unincorporated areas of Gaston County also includes providing police services to the incorporated towns of High Shoals and Spencer Mountain.

In addition, the Department employs 117 civilians who provide 911 Communications, Animal Care and Enforcement and law enforcement support services throughout Gaston County.

Since its inception in 1957, the Department has continually grown stronger and more proficient. By 1991, the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) awarded accreditation status to the Department, making it the 190th internationally accredited police agency.

Divisions

Chief Stephen Zill is responsible for the overall operation of the entire department, which is broken down into major divisions: Community Policing Division, Investigations Division and Communications and  Animal Care and Enforcement Divisions.

Division List

  1. Community Policing
  2. Investigations & Support Services
  3. Communications & Animal Care & Enforcement

The Community Policing Division is overseen by Assistant Chief Holder and is comprised primarily of uniformed officers assigned to one of four squads. Each squad is commanded by a captain. Officers work rotating, twelve-hour shifts and are supervised by a sergeant. The Community Policing Division is responsible for controlling and preventing crime through regular patrols, answering calls for service, apprehending offenders, enforcing criminal and traffic laws, conducting investigations and working with the community to solve neighborhood problems.

Also included in this Division are the:

  • K-9 Unit
  • Community service officers
  • A seasonal Marine Enforcement Unit
  • Reserve officers and two specialized response units:
    • Emergency Response Team
    • Hazardous Devices Unit
  1. Police investigating fatal crash

    A motor vehicle wreck Saturday night involving a Gaston County Police Officer and a citizen resulted in the tragic death of that citizen and the hospitalization of the officer. Read on...
  2. Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement Animal Cruelty Investigation

    On Saturday, February 17th, 2024 Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement (GCACE) responded to a residence on Boulder Court in Gastonia, NC in reference to an animal cruelty investigation. Read on...
  3. Local, State, and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Arrest Several Individuals Accused of Soliciting

    A joint press conference was held Friday, February 9, 2024, on the arrest of 16 individuals across the state accused of soliciting, sexually exploiting, or abusing children. Read on...
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