In Cross Plains, residents will notice a new team making up the local police department, as the city recently brought on a new chief and part-time officer.
Chief Stan Hilgadiack, who started at the post Sept. 21, takes the reins at the Cross Plains Police Department bringing more than 40 years of experience to the city — beginning in 1980.
He comes on board following the resignation of former Chief Max Tate back in February.
Since then, the Robertson County Sheriff’s Department had handled policing for the area, according to Tammy Covington, Cross Plains city recorder.
Hilgadiack’s prior law enforcement experience spans across both the Gallatin and Goodlettsville Police Departments, as well as a six-year stint as chief in White House.
He has served under several hats over the years — including patrol and crime analysis, as well as in detective divisions and K-9.
Hilgadiack said he learned of the Cross Plains opening while still serving in Goodlettsville, his most recent post, where he was nearing mandatory retirement, and explained that several factors played a role in him coming to Cross Plains.
"I didn’t see that I was going to retire and do the honey-do list,” said Hilgadiack, noting that his wife still actively works.
Plus, he also has family living nearby.
“The people have been great, and the community is very supportive,” said Hilgadiack, adding that residents have been very appreciative. “I’m really enjoying being here.”
The chief is not shy about handing out his cell number and notes that the “door is always open” to residents.
That being said, Hilgadiack said his first priority has been to get to know the community, to make them aware they have a new chief and to ensure residents that he’s available should there be anything they need.
Hilgadiack is clear; however, that he’s not interested in just meeting locals via traffic stops or situations where the police are called, but he wants to get to know them socially.
In addition to seeing that laws are enforced locally, Hilgadiack also plans to be involved in the community and be a presence at local businesses and events — like sporting activities — as he’s already made his way to several East Robertson High School football and local soccer games, he added.
Hilgadiack said he is also looking to fill an additional full-time police officer position, and he’s interested in seeing a community watch program kick-started in Cross Plains.
“The eyes in the community are a whole lot stronger than we are, because with just a few officers, we can’t be everywhere all the time,” he said. “I want to set up some meetings and get with several areas of the city.”
Hilgadiack has been married 35 years, and has two children and four grandchildren. In his free time, attending family gatherings, watching his grandchildren race dirt bikes, and enjoying an occasional skeet shoot top his list. Plus, he doesn’t mind watching an episode of “Blue Bloods” on T.V., now and again.
Additionally, alongside the chief is Officer David Read, who comes on board in a part-time capacity serving mainly in patrol and traffic.
Read, a veteran officer, also has an extensive background spanning across several areas of law enforcement, retiring after 34 years with Metro-Nashville Government, beginning in 1977.
He’s served as a dispatcher, park policeman, patrol officer and in crime prevention, as well as part of the DUI squad and motorcycle division.
Additionally, Read did a five-year stint with the Goodlettsville Police Department.
He currently serves as a part-time officer with the Belle Meade Police Department, as well.
“I’ve always enjoyed law enforcement — all my life,” Read said. “I do enjoy helping people and working with people on the street.”
Read said he wants to be available to the residents of Cross Plains — whether it’s helping them slow down on the road or simply keeping them safe.
As an officer, Read explained, he believes one can provide law enforcement, but do it also with a “little bit of grace,” — meaning, in some cases, simply just letting someone know their vehicle headlight is out or they are speeding may be in order.
Read describes himself as an amateur golfer — “very amateur.” He enjoys photography and serving at his church and has been married for 43 years, with three children and five grandchildren.