Town of Woodfin mourns Police Chief Emeritus Brett Holloman

FILE - Chief Brett Holloman spoke with News 13 in April 2017. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

The town of Woodfin is paying tribute to a popular lawman: Police Chief Emeritus Brett Holloman died just after midnight on Saturday.

He retired from the department in July for medical reasons.

“He's one of those guys who was here every day and he impacted a lot of lives,” said Woodfin Officer John Ward.

The impact former Chief Brett Holloman made on Woodfin went far beyond the 16 officers he served with.

“Anyway he could help the community, anyway he could help individuals that came in here, that's what it was all about,” said Woodfin Mayor Jerry Vehaun.

Holloman was someone who wanted to make his community, better, safer. The Mayor says he was just a “good” man.

“Good to the officers, and good to the fellow employees. and just good to the community,” said Vehaun.

Holloman is credited with earning Woodfin the ranking of one of the safest cities in North Carolina, the last two years, thanks to his community policing efforts. Holloman’s battle with cancer was tougher, and it was a war waged while he served.

“You can't find people like that anymore,” said Vehaun.

Chief Holloman's love for a particular southern delicacy earned him a unique nickname from the mayor.

“We called him liver mush and on one of his birthdays, Pizza Hut made him a liver mush pizza, and we gave it to him and I'm sure he was the only one that ate it, anyway but we had a good laugh over that,” said Vehaun.

It was Holloman’s quiet spirit, that’s had a profound impact on his officers.

“He said well, how do you feel about being a Woodfin Police Officer?” to Officer John Ward after about a 10 to 15-minute interview. “That was one of the greatest feelings I've ever had,” said Ward.

Officers say, Holloman’s humbleness and dedication inspired others.

“What I saw in him, I tried to model my life around,” said Officer Ward.

Ensuring that the legacy Chief Holloman left behind, will endure.

“If you have a positive attitude and a fighting spirit like he had, you know there’s nothing you can't accomplish,” said Ward.

Funeral arrangements are expected to be made public on the town's Facebook page once arrangements are finalized.

They've lowered the flag at the Woodfin Town Hall to half staff, in remembrance of the man who protected and served the town for more than two dozen years.

There were days he didn't feel well but still showed up for work because of his love for the Woodfin community. Coworkers tell us he was an example for the entire department.

Donations to the Holloman family to assist with funeral costs and other aspects of his recent hospital and hospice stay may be given directly to to donate via credit or debit card or you may drop off donations for the Holloman family directly at Woodfin Town Hall 90 Elk Mountain Road, Woodfin, NC 28804.

The Woodfin Police Department shared this statement to Facebook on Saturday:

The Woodfin Police Department is saddened to announce the passing of former Chief of Police John Brett Holloman early this morning. Chief Holloman had a career spanning over 26 years, with 12 of those in the role as Chief. During his tenure, he was an inspirational leader, never wavering in his dedication and professionalism despite his ongoing battle with cancer. He showed kindness and respect to everyone he encountered and pushed his officers to embody the same virtues.
Chief Holloman’s presence was felt far and wide in the law enforcement community. For many years he was an instructor for AB Tech’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program. Several hundred officers and deputies passed through the block of instruction he taught - ethics. We could think of no more suitable man for this topic.
In addition to being an exceptional leader and engaging instructor, Chief Holloman was a family man and true friend. He was a devoted husband, a proud father, and a doting grandfather. Most of all, he was a man of faith, keeping God in all things.
At this time, we do not have information about visitation or funeral arrangements. We do ask that you keep Chief Holloman’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Rest easy, Chief. We have the watch from here.

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