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. 



Officer Bio

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.




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.


Corporal 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

 K-9 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

Sergeant 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.

 APD Anthony Logan 

Officer Logan Anthony, Investigator

Logan is beginning his career as a Law Enforcement officer after graduating from the CVCJA in December 2021. . In his spare time Officer Anthony enjoys hunting, fishing, watching Hokies sports and spending time at his family farm.

APD Priscilla Elias

Corporal Priscilla Elias 

Officer Priscilla Elias has been employed with Altavista Police Department for 5 months. Before APD, Priscilla worked at Campbell County Sheriff’s Office for 4 and a half years as a road deputy and then as an SRO. Priscilla has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice: Crime Scene Investigation and a minor in Psychology. She is currently enrolled in a Master’s degree program specializing in Forensic Science. Priscilla is also Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) certified, specializing in dealing with mental health. Priscilla is a musician and enjoys playing instruments in her spare time as well as spending time outdoors. Even though Priscilla was born a city girl, she enjoys the country life of 4 wheeling, gardening, farming and fishing.


APD - Jackie Goyn

 Officer Jackie Goyne

Hi!  My name is Jackie Goyne, and I am a new Police Officer that graduated from Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy Basic LE Class #102.  I was born and raised in the area of Altavista and Huddleston, and a graduate of Staunton River High School.  After high school, I started my career in law enforcement and became a Deputy Sheriff at the Roanoke City Sheriffs Office, Jail Security Division.  I am also a graduate of the Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy, for Basic Jail School and became certified for Crisis Intervention., which specializes in mental health.   My favorite things to do include running, fishing, spending time with my friends and family, and all things Disney.  my favorite Disney movie is "Beauty and the Beast".