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 114 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.


Chief Joseph Ramey 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 S.V. Jentsch 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. Gaston County’s 13th Confirmed Rabies Case of 2022

    On Wednesday, November 30, 2022, the Gaston County Police Animal Care and Enforcement responded to a call regarding a resident’s dog that killed a raccoon in the back yard of their residence located in the 3400 block of Autumn Drive in Gastonia. Read on...
  2. Gaston County’s 12th Confirmed Rabies Case of 2022

    On Tuesday, November 13, 2022 at 10:20 pm, the Gaston County Police Animal Care and Enforcement responded to a call regarding a cat that attacked a resident in the 800 block of Fairview Drive in Mt. Holly, NC. Read on...
  3. Human Remains Found Near Cherryville Identified

    On Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at about 11:30 am Gaston County Police responded to the area of Aderholdt Rd and Gaston Webb Chapel Rd near Cherryville, NC after a hunter reported finding human remains. Read on...
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