Mary Alice Reporting – After an over 30-year career in law enforcement, Gary Holland is moving on to the next chapter of his life.

Holland has been active in the police force since 1991 as he served for the Village of Rising Sun before his appointment to Bettsville as an officer in 1994 before advancing, in 1998, as their police chief. He then served as a Seneca County Sheriff’s Deputy from 2008 until his 2010 appointment as Newcomerstown Police Chief.

Holland says he knew his career path was to become a police officer.

“Police chief never entered my mind, you know, initially it was just trying to do what you could to help society and the people in a society. You wanted to feel like you made a difference, but it’s been good since. There’s a lot of great people here [and] some good times.”

A lot has changed since Holland first got into law enforcement as he recalls officers wrote out their incident reports on a typewriter so technology has been a benefit in his opinion.

“First DNA case I ever worked it was 18 months just to get the DNA results [and] today [it can come] back in 30 days. The negatives, I would have to say, have to do with society its self. Today, nobody’s responsible for their actions so they want to turn it and they want to blame everybody else, no matter what the situation is.”

Highlights from his career included solving cases, starting a youth group, and locally, ensuring check-ins for the elder population.

As for the next Newcomerstown Police Chief, that position is going to Opha Lawson, effective January 13th.

“Right now he’s my Captain. He will take over the helm on Friday. I think he’ll step up, he’ll do an outstanding job, and I think they’ve got a man that’s more than capable of doing that.”

In his retirement, Holland notes he wants to go fishing, camping, traveling, and enjoy his grandchildren.

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