The town of Beech Mountain has a new police officer.

High Country Press reports Kevin Gardner has been sworn in as the town's newest officer.

Gardner is a former jailer and deputy with the Avery County Sheriff’s Department and a former police officer with the Village of Sugar Mountain.

Gardner also is a member of the Frank Fire Department and a former member of Green Valley Fire Department in Avery County.

He earned a degree in Criminal Justice from Mayland Community College.

The Beech Mountain Police Department patrols a total jurisdiction of 71 miles.