City of Gastonia Names New Police Chief

Gastonia, NC – January 27, 2023 – The City of Gastonia has named Interim Police Chief Trent Conard as the next permanent Police Chief for the Gastonia Police Department (GPD). He joined the GPD in 1996 and brings more than 28 years of experience to his new position. Conard was named Interim Police Chief in October 2022. Chief Conard will continue to lead the daily operations of the Police Department and the work of over 200 dedicated women and men who serve the community in sworn and civilian positions.

The City advertised the position nationwide and received over 40 applications. There were eight candidates interviewed and four selected to participate in an extensive assessment center conducted by Centralina Regional Council. The assessment panel consisted of police chiefs and city managers from around the Charlotte region, along with some Gastonia community leaders.

“After an extensive nationwide search, it was clear that Interim Chief Conard was the right choice to continue leading the GPD,” said City Manager Michael Peoples. “His depth and breadth of experience in law enforcement, internal organizational and management skills, and passion for the communities of Gastonia will serve the Department and our citizens well as he steps into this new role.”

Conard was promoted to Assistant Police Chief from Captain in October 2020. His service with the GPD includes being Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division, Commander of the Special Situations Unit which includes SWAT, Bomb Squad, Crisis Negotiators, Mobile Field Force, and the Mobile Command. He was responsible for creating and implementing the Police Training Officer program for the GPD in 2005. Since the program was implemented, over 180 officers have been trained in the program. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Montreat College and is a North Carolina certified instructor and nationally certified Problem Based Learning instructor. Conard is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Program and also attended the FBI Command College.

“I look forward to serving the citizens of Gastonia as Police Chief and leading a department of dedicated public servants who share my passion to protect and serve through direct and intentional community involvement inclusive to all residents and visitors of our diverse city,” said Chief Conard.