Feature Story: From preacher’s kid to police chief

Shane Roland,
Acting Chief of Police, Middle Georgia State University

COCHRAN, GEORGIA: When Shane Roland, age 39, was four years-old, he chopped his finger off on farm equipment.

Chief Roland, who is the acting police chief at Middle Georgia State University, said, “My dad was running a tractor and was planting potatoes. I can remember it like it was yesterday and him telling me not to put my hand near the hydraulics.”

“Being a kid, obviously I did not listen and the thumb on my left hand was smashed off and my pointer finger was also smashed,” Roland said, adding, “I remember running across the field in a panic. My uncle caught me and took me to the truck where my mom and dad where at.”

He told The Murphy Gazette, “I remember my dad was wearing a white shirt and that my head was in his lap. I watched as his white shirt became red. I remember going to the hospital and waking up to the wail of ambulance sirens as we headed to Macon.”

“After that the only thing I remember was all of the toys, candy and fruit baskets that I had when I woke up,” Chief Roland remarked. “I remember thinking maybe it was worth it to get all the treats.”

He recovered. As a far as his job as a police officer, Roland said, ““I cannot remember ever wanting to do anything else. I grew up as a preacher’s kid, and moved around a lot.”

“I always admired police officers and respected the job that they did. I have always had a servant’s heart and wanted to help others,” he said.

Roland has been very involved with his community and helping those in need. He started a social media group called, “Making Bleckley Better.”

Making Bleckley Better was created as platform to get people involved in the community,” Chief Roland stated. “There are so many people who want to help others, but does not know who needs it.”

He continued, “This site is designed to put the givers and those in need together.”

“We have received donations for a book fair in Bleckley County. We have been very successful with this campaign over the last couple of years.”

Roland said, “The money that was collected goes to children who do not have the money to participate in the book fairs. It is my goal that everyone would be able to participate and share in the excitement that the book fair brings.”

Another project close to his heart has been helping feed families in the community.

“I have over time had several families reach out to me about the need for food,” he said. “I have worked with the community to get these families food, and have often taken food from my cabinets and freezers to provide for others.”

When asked about his heart for helping people, Chief Roland paused. “Because it is the right thing to do.”

“I grew up as a preacher’s son, as mentioned, and was involved in charity events for half of my life,” he said. “From selling doughnuts, collecting food and clothing, and other things for the church and community.”

He said, “Being raised in a Christian home, I was taught the importance of sacrifice and giving.”

“You are a product of the environment that you grow up in. My parents raised six children and often struggled,” Chief Roland commented. “ Even though we did not have everything thing we wanted, we always had everything we needed. I guess that’s where it all started.”

He continued, “The worth of people is determined by the good they do, the choices they make and the difference they make.”

Roland defined the word at hope. “Hope is knowing that there is more to come … that the possibilities are endless, and even the worst situations can change for the good.”

The last question asked was if he had a superpower, what would it be, and why. Chief Roland said, “To be able to fly … Who would not want to be able to fly?”


Author: rlhwrites

Curator of prose and such.

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