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New police chiefs take reins in 2019

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New police chiefs took the reins in Bailey, Spring Hope and Nashville while Middlesex’s top cop entered a second year on the job during 2019.

Bailey Police Chief Steve Boraski, hired in February, began on a full-time basis March 30.

“This past year has been, to me, very successful and rewarding as I have had the opportunity to meet most of the community and bring them together for several events held throughout the year,” Boraski said.

Since taking charge, Boraski has held open houses and participated in National Night Out.

“Thanks to the board and Mayor Thomas Richards for his guidance, and special thanks to Cecil and Janet Hawley for their never-ending support,” Boraski said.

Cecil Hawley is president of the Bailey Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to taking the chief’s position in Bailey, Boraski worked for Northstate, a private police company in Wake County, and the State Capital Police, a state government police department in Raleigh.

In June, the Spring Hope Board of Commissioners tapped Nathan Gant to lead the town’s police department.

Gant, who has two decades of experience, has worked for Spring Hope since 2015 and was a sergeant when selected for the chief’s position.

After basic law enforcement training at Pitt Community College in 1999, Gant went to work for the Middlesex Police Department where he served as first sergeant, assistant chief and interim chief of police. Gant joined the Nash County Sheriff’s Office in 2002, serving as an investigator. After five years with the sheriff’s office, Gant went to work at the Knightdale Police Department, rising to the rank of master officer.

Gant has been a law enforcement cadet firearms training instructor at Nash Community College since 2010.

A second-generation police officer, Gant was born in Shelby. His family relocated to Wilson when he was a child. He’s the son of a retired Zebulon police sergeant and retired Wilson County schoolteacher.

Gant succeeded Anthony Puckett as Spring Hope’s police chief. Puckett was hired to serve as Nashville’s police chief.

Puckett replaced Tom Bashore, who stepped down in December 2018 to work for the N.C. Sheriffs’ Association.

Prior to accepting the Spring Hope job, Puckett served with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Rocky Mount Police Department and Wake Forest Police Department.

Middlesex Police Chief Mike Collins has been on the job since 2017. He formerly worked for the sheriff’s offices in Vance and Franklin counties where he helped establish school resource officer programs.

During his law enforcement career, Collins has served on the N.C. Justice Academy’s curriculum committee, the Governor’s Task Force on Safer Schools physical security and emergency preparedness subcommittee and school climate and discipline steering committee and has been a member of the N.C. Juvenile Officers Association and Juvenile Services Association.