Fremont Interim Police Chief Greg Bottoms

Fremont Interim Police Chief Greg Bottoms poses with a group of children during a back-to-school event at the First Missionary Baptist Church. Bottoms took over as interim chief June 1, following the May retirement of former police chief Paul Moats.

FREMONT — Since Police Chief Paul Moats Jr. retired from his position with the Fremont Police Department, Interim Police Chief Greg Bottoms stepped up to the plate to ensure a smooth transition.

“We’re going to stay the course,” said Bottoms. “I’ve been with chief Moats pretty much his entire eight years.

“We’re going to be continuing the community policing, community involvement — we’re not going to deviate from that during this time period.”

Bottoms began his law enforcement career not long after graduating from high school. He studied at Wilson Community College, where he earned his associate degree in criminal justice, and later at Barton College, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and criminology.

“I had a strong desire to be in law enforcement out of high school,” Bottoms said. “I had a strong desire to serve people.”

After attending Basic Law Enforcement Training and graduating from college, Bottoms worked his way through the ranks at the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, starting out as a detention officer and later working as a deputy on patrol.

Bottoms has worked as a Fremont police officer during the past eight years, including seven years as a sergeant.

Moats retired from the Fremont Police Department after a 32-year career in law enforcement in May. He served as the Fremont police chief eight years and announced his retirement in April.

Bottoms took over Moats’ duties on June 1.

“We feel like all our full-time policemen are quality policemen,” said Darron Flowers, Fremont mayor. “We selected Greg because of his experience and his attitude and his ability.

“We are extremely pleased with the manner in which our police department has functioned over the past years, and we expect to continue that in the future years.”

While serving as interim chief, Bottoms is continuing his previous duties as well as taking on the police chief’s day-to-day job. He is even working on earning his master’s degree from Barton College.

The Fremont Police Department employs four full-time officers, but while Bottoms is serving as interim chief, and until that position is filled, the department is down one officer. But, despite that, Bottoms said he does not expect any issues with coverage.

“Our officers are working with the chief a certain amount anyway, so we were exposed to certain things that he was doing working as a team,” Bottoms said. “Coverage is going to remain the same, the quality of professional law enforcement services is going to stay the same through this time period.”

The Fremont Board of Aldermen is considering applications for its next chief of police and Flowers expects the board to make a decision soon.

Bottoms applied for the position because he wants to continue serving the citizens of Fremont

“The community atmosphere, this type of law enforcement and policing — I’ve enjoyed it the eight years that I’ve been here,” Bottoms said. “In a small town, you get to know individuals at a personal level.

“You understand a lot more about the community.”