After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years, Greg Moore was looking for a job where he could continue to serve.
“Service is the only thing I’ve ever known,” said Moore, who is now a Nolensville police officer. “What American kid doesn’t grow up wanting to be a firefighter or police officer? I’ve always been called to serve”
The Cannon County native recalled his mother recently telling him that his fourth-grade teacher predicted he would go into the military or become some form of public servant. Moore started his public service at a young age. He joined the Cannon County fire department when he was 15, served there for 10 years and became a paramedic.
In the Marines, Moore, who rose to the rank of sergeant, learned leadership as a squad leader while deployed to Fallujah, Iraq. He said he learned a true leader is someone who is “willing to take his share of the load and not be afraid to be the first one through the door.”
Moore added, “My job is to bring them home.”
During his military service, Moore received two Navy achievement medals, the Global War of Terror Award and the Navy Medal of Valor device for heroism under enemy fire.
Upon separating from the military, “I wanted to do something familiar,” Moore said. “I realized law enforcement was the way to go.”
He joined the Cannon County Sheriff’s Department.
Moore says rural Cannon County has little industry and few jobs. Because many residents have only a high school education, the average income is $20,000 a year. Also, many residents are on disability or Social Security. The crime rate is high, and often involves assault and/or drug possession, primarily methamphetamine.
In Nolensville, the medium family income is much higher, and a majority of homeowners have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Moore, a patrol officer with two young children, said that after a few years with the Cannon County Sheriff’s Department, he “was making as much as a fast-food worker after taxes.”
It was time for a change. He applied to the Nolensville Police Department.
“Until I found out the police department was accepting applications, I didn’t know anything about Nolensville. So I did a search,” he said. “The town of 7 square miles has the same population as the 240-square-mile (Cannon) county. It’s a different type of policing.”
Police Chief Roddy Parker hired Moore in 2018. Moore, a licensed paramedic, brought leadership, training and military experience to the job.
“We actually foot patrol through construction sites,” Moore said “It’s paid off four times. We caught two in the act.”
Moore said that because violent crime is less frequent, it’s “easier to have a positive attitude.” Plus, he said, “Most offenders are not locals.”
He said that when a rash of thefts does occur in the community, neighbors are vigilant and helpful.
“Everything in the community is driven by the people,” he said. “People here care about the community as a group. There’s more community outreach and there’s more support for the police than I’ve ever seen.”
Moore has found the biggest challenge is the size of the department. When help is needed, of-ficers have to rely on backup from the county — and getting that help may take time.
Moore says that since he began his law enforcement career, he has been shot at once each year, including once in Nolensville.
With a servant’s heart, “I did what I was called to do,” Moore said.
He continues to do what he was called to do.
Carole Robinson may be contacted at email@example.com.