Get to Know your Officers

Chief Merricks

Col. Thomas E. (Tommy) Merricks, Chief of Police

Tommy is a 32-year veteran in law enforcement, starting his career in 1989 as a patrol officer with Danville Police Department.  He has worked in many aspects of law enforcement, serving as an Investigator in the criminal and narcotics divisions of DPD, as a Lieutenant and Captain. Tommy was also the SWAT commander at DPD for over 20 years.  Tommy is a graduate of Danville Community College and Averett University with a BS degree in marketing.  He is currently working on his master’s in criminal justice Degree from Averett University. Tommy has also attended the Institute for leadership in changing times at Virginia Tech and Professional Executive Leadership school at the University of Richmond.   He presently serves on the Patrol Tactical Committee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is currently the president of the Alumni Council at Danville Community College. 

Tommy is a resident of Altavista along with his wife Patricia and two daughters.  They have two grown sons.  He is a master mason with the Campbell Lodge 316 in Altavista VA and a member of the Altavista Baptist Tabernacle.  In his spare time he loves to cook BBQ and University of Virginia sports (Go Hoos!)

Kenny Moorefield

Captain Kenneth W. ( Kenny) Moorefield, Deputy Chief

Captain Kenneth Moorefield Jr is a 16-year veteran with APD. He is a graduate of Gretna High School and University of Richmond Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS). He has also served as a General & Defensive Tactics Instructor for VA Department of Criminal Justice(DCJS). When not on duty he enjoys Martial Arts, hiking and traveling. 

Mary Hall Admin Assistant

Mary Hall, Administrative Assistant

Mary is the glue that holds everything together.  She is the first smiling face you see when you come into the police department.  She is also the evidence clerk and keeps track of all our evidence.  Mary has been with the town since 2003 and has worn many hats.  She became full time with the police department in July of 2018. 

Larry Rigney - Car

Sergeant Larry P. Rigney

Sergeant Larry Rigney: Sergeant Rigney is a 14-year veteran of the Altavista Police Department. Larry previously served with the patrol division of the Danville Police Department for 11 years. Rigney is a graduate of the New River Criminal Justice Academy and the Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences, Forensics Sciences Academy. In his off time Rigney enjoys taking part in mechanical and architectural projects.

John Henderson

Sergeant John Henderson

Sgt. John Henderson is from Keeling Va. John is a graduate of George Washington High School in Danville and has a bachelor’s degree from Averett University in Criminal Justice & Sociology.

John served in the United States Air Force as part of their Security Police Force. After receiving and honorable discharge from the Air Force he accepted a police officer’s position at Danville Police Department. John retired from Danville Police Department as a Lieutenant after 27 years of service which included assignments to Patrol, Investigations, Police Services, and Street Crimes Divisions.

Donnie Osborne

Investigator Donnie Osborne

After serving with the Danville Police Department Investigator Osborne made a change to the Altavista Police Department. He has been employed with APD for the past five years. Osborne was promoted to Investigator in June 2020 and occupies this position today. Osborne is a Certified General Instructor, Certified Firearms Instructor, a Glock Armorer and AR 15/ M4 Armorer.

When not at work, Osborne enjoys travel with his family to Pigeon Forge Tennessee. He is also an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoys these activities for a getaway.

Mike Abbott

Officer Michael Abbott

Officer Abbott is a 5-year veteran of the Altavista Police Department. Mike previously served with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority. Mike is a certified Firearms, Defensive Tactics, CPR/AED/First Aid, Incident response to Terrorist Bombings, and ASP instructor. Officer Abbott spent 15 years assigned as a SWAT operator and team leader. Officer Abbott has a degree from Western International University in Criminal Justice.

When off duty Officer Abbott likes to fish and enjoy the outdoors.

William Dogan

Officer William Dogan

William started his Law Enforcement career in 1998 and came to the Altavista Police Department in 2020 and is currently assigned to patrol. Over the years, he has held the positions of Corporal, Investigator, and Sergeant, including supervising, patrol, K9, law enforcement training, school resource officers, investigations, and administration. William is attending Liberty University where he plans to graduate with a Criminal Justice Public Administration degree. In addition, he graduated from the FBI- Law Enforcement Executive Development Course E-Trilogy in 2020.

In his spare time, William enjoys working on home improvement projects, spending time with his family, and attending car shows. If you see William out and about, make sure to strike up a conversation with him about his latest modifications to his Dodge Challenger.


Officer Gary Wilson

Gary has been with APD since September of 2020.  He has over 40 years of law enforcement experience.  He retired from Danville PD  as a Lieutenant in August of 2020 after a career that saw him serve in Patrol as an officer and supervisor, Investigations as detective and supervisor, Special Investigations as a detective and supervisor and School Resource/DARE Officer. Gary also served on the police honor guard, the negotiations unit, and thirteen years as a SWAT operator. He retired as a lieutenant in the Patrol division.  Gary has a BS degree from Averett University and is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and is a Certified Polygraph Examiner.   

Corey Earhart

Officer Cory Earhart 

Cory has been with APD for a year. He previously served four years in the United States Army before joining APD. Cory graduated from WCHS and has an associate degree in Criminal Justice from CVCC.  He received the Top Shot award from the police academy in 2020.   When he is not at work, he loves to hunt, fish, and work on his farm.

Chelsea Pugh

Officer Chelsea Pugh

Officer Chelsea Pugh is a new face to APD. Previously working in a civilian job, Officer Pugh felt a calling to serve in law enforcement. She is a graduate of HCS, Liberty University, and CVCJA. She received numerous awards in the academy to include top academic student, most improved physical fitness, and the Trooper Lucas Dowell officer survival award. When not at work, Officer Pugh enjoys casting a fishing line, kayaking, or sitting in the woods hunting.

Emily Thurman

Officer Emily Thurman

Officer Thurman started with APD in 2020. She is a graduate of BRCC, CVCJA, and is currently attending Liberty University majoring in Criminal Justice. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, going to sporting events, and spending time with her dogs – Cooper and Teddy.