Bolen says reporting error to require remedial training for some officers

Michael HowlettStaff Report

February 8, 2013

Hillsville Police Chief Greg Bolen assured the Hillsville Town Council during its Jan. 28 meeting that, despite some minor discrepancies in officers’ records, the town’s police force is properly trained and qualified for duty. Councilman Billy Walls, Sr. brought up the question of training during the chief’s report to council.

Bolen termed the problem more of “a reporting error than a training error.” He went on to say that he contacted the Department of Criminal Justice Services and was told to “do some remedial training and submit the proper paperwork.”

“This doesn’t affect the officers who were trained. They are properly trained,” added Bolen.

Bolen said he became aware of the situation while looking through his officers’ records.

“Apparently, supervisors signed off on the training of some officers without observing the training,” said Bolen, who took over as chief on Dec. 1, 2012. “According to them, the former chief (Steve Williams) told the officers to do it this way. Those supervisors shouldn’t have signed off on the training, but did so because they were ordered to.”

When asked if the remedial training would affect the department in any adverse way, Bolen said no.

“We just need to do the training because of civil liability. We need to do this in order to protect the officers, the town and the police department,” he said.