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Spring Hope names new top cop

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Nathan Gant

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Spring Hope police sergeant has been named the town’s new top lawman.

Nathan Gant on Wednesday began serving as Spring Hope’s police chief. Gant succeeded Anthony Puckett, who was hired a couple of weeks ago as Nashville’s police chief.

Gant, 39, has been with the Spring Hope Police Department since 2015 and has been in law enforcement for approximately 20 years, including five with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.

“Gant’s experience and leadership were just what we were looking for in our next chief,” Spring Hope Town Manager Jae Kim said in a news release. “We are excited for him to continue to lead by example and represent the town of Spring Hope with pride and professionalism that he exemplifies.”

In the news release, Gant said being chosen Spring Hope’s new police chief is the high point of his career.

“I am humbled by the confidence the town leadership has placed in me,” Gant said. “I plan to provide a safe environment for all residents and visitors by leading this agency based on trust and transparency.”

Kim said Gant’s starting salary is $49,000 and that the amount will increase by 5 percent after six months. Kim said Puckett was being paid $59,665 a year.

Not everyone seems to be welcoming Kim’s choice of Gant as the new police chief, however.

Town Commissioner Ricky Tucker, when reached by the Telegram, said, “I won’t make a comment on it.”

As for why he does not want to provide his opinion or reaction, Tucker said, “I have my reasons — and I have voiced those reasons with the mayor and with the town manager.”

Gant was born in Shelby, which is in the western part of the state, but his family relocated to Wilson when he was young.

His father, Dale Gant, is retired after having served as a sergeant with the Zebulon Police Department. His mother, Helen Gant, is retired from having taught in the Wilson County public education system.

Nathan Gant completed his basic law enforcement training in 1999 at Pitt Community College.

He began his career with the Middlesex Police Department and, within a couple of years, served as first sergeant and assistant chief before being appointed interim chief.

The Nash County Sheriff’s Office hired him in 2002 and he rose through the ranks to become an investigator.

After five years, he joined the Knightdale Police Department. While on Knightdale’s police force, he rose to the rank of master officer.

He joined the Spring Hope Police Department as a sergeant.

Additionally, Gant has been serving on the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force, which pursues gangs, guns and illegal drugs. The task force was established in 2016 with numerous officers from throughout the area.

Since 2010, Gant also has taught firearms for the basic law enforcement training program at Nash Community College.

Gant and his wife, Jessica, have two children.

The hiring of Puckett as Nashville’s new police chief was announced on June 6.

Puckett on Tuesday succeeded interim Chief Joey Corbett, who had temporarily been serving after Chief Tom Bashore stepped aside in December to accept a position with the N.C. Sheriffs’ Association.

Kim moved quickly and internally to find a successor to Puckett in Spring Hope.

Kim told the Telegram in an email last week two candidates from the Spring Hope Police Department had applied for the top position.

Kim said the search process included a four-person assessment board, followed by one-on-one interviews with him.

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