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Pulaski hires first female police chief

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Pulaski Mayor Shannon Collins swears in the town’s first female chief, Jill Neice, a 23-year veteran of the department. Neice had served as interim chief since the June retirement of Gary Roche. She was selected from a pool of 16 applicants.

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

Just months after being appointed as interim chief of Pulaski Police Department, Jill Neice was sworn in Tuesday as the town’s first permanent female police chief.

Neice became the department’s temporary chief when long-time Chief Gary Roche retired June 1. She was one of 16 applicants for the position, but was the unanimous choice of the interview panel.

Since being appointed interim chief, Neice “has taken on her new responsibilities with an eagerness to serve Pulaski’s community with the same commitment and passion exhibited in her over 23 years of service with the Pulaski Police Department,” states a press release from the town.

“While not initially interested in the permanent position, Jill demonstrated during her two months as interim, the commitment, energy, and enthusiasm needed to lead the department in meeting the challenges that law enforcement officials will face in the future,” said Town Manager Darlene Burcham. “She has clearly demonstrated a passion for the department and the town.”

Burcham said she is “thrilled” to have Neice as the permanent chief.

Neice has spent her entire law enforcement career in service of Pulaski. Before taking over the top post, she served as the department’s patrol lieutenant.

The new chief is a graduate of New River Community College, where she received an associate of applied science degree in administration of justice and Radford University, where she obtained a bachelor degree in criminal justice.

She has spent her career “honing her skills and developing a strong rapport with her colleagues and community,” according to the press release.

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