PULASKI, Va. (WFXR) — After an accomplished law enforcement career lasting more than 40 years, Police Chief Gary Roche is set to retire from the Pulaski Police Department on June 1.
The Town of Pulaski says Roche was first hired as an officer in 1976 for the Harrisonburg Police Department, where he served for two years before moving on to become a Deputy Sheriff at the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office.
Between 1978 and 2001, officials say Roche held virtually every position within the Roanoke County Police Department, making his way up the ranks to reach Commanding Officer of the Roanoke County Police Department’s Special Operations Division before he was hired as the Chief of Police For the Town of Pulaski in 2001.
Before and during his law enforcement career, Roche reportedly earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice and Public Safety from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Radford University.
With more than four decades of law enforcement experience under his belt, town officials say Roche accrued numerous accomplishments and accolades, both in his professional and volunteer activities, including the following:
- Received a commendation from the Roanoke Chief of Police for Roche’s performance at the F.B.I. National Academy
- Won the first place award in the Virginia Law Enforcement Chief’s Challenge in 2001
- Earned the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police Past President’s Award. Outside of major awards, Chief Roche has consistently been involved in professional and volunteer activities.
- Held the position of President or Chairman for multiple Police Chiefs Associations
- Participated in several community improvement organizations, such as the Pulaski Community Partners Coalition and the Governor’s Mental Health Working Group
- Proved to be instrumental in securing continued accreditation for the Pulaski Police Department with the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission
“Police Chief Roche will be greatly missed by all who have worked with him at the Town of Pulaski,” the Town of Pulaski said in a statement on Tuesday, April 6. “During his time here, he has elevated our police department to new heights and brought about a lasting commitment to the improvement of our community and the lives of our residents and visitors. We wish him well in his retirement and salute him for an incredible career.”