After a 29-year career with the Kingsport Police Department, Captain Randall Gore is on the cusp of retirement and about to begin a new chapter in his life.
A chapter filled with scissors, clippers, combs and a fancy chair.
Following his retirement next month, Gore plans to open Top Notch Cuts Barbershop at 143 E. Jackson Street in downtown Gate City. It’s been an ambition of Gore’s for the past two years.
“Within the last couple of years, I realized I wouldn’t be a policeman forever and I wanted something to do that I could enjoy and be my own boss,” Gore said. “I just couldn’t go home and sit around.”
Gore said he always paid close attention when people would cut his hair and when his barber retired years ago, he started cutting his own hair.
“I saw what my barber did, and I said, ‘I think I could do that.’ (My ambition) just developed from there,” he explained. “People are always going to need haircuts and there’s no barbers in Gate City.”
For the past 15 months, Gore attended the Crown Cutz Academy in Bristol, Va., to earn his barber license, all the while still working full-time as a captain at the Kingsport Police Department. The program involved 1,100 hours of hands-on work, as well as a written and practical skills test.
Gore recently completed both tests and has sent off his application to the State of Virginia, which will then issue him an official barber license – hopefully by the end of January.
“I’m more excited than nervous,” Gore said. “Twenty-nine years is enough for police work. I’m ready to start something new and I’m looking forward to it.”
Gore, 51, has spent his entire 29-year career with the Kingsport Police Department, starting off as a patrolman, then being promoted to corporal, sergeant (accreditation manager), lieutenant (records division) and finally captain about six years ago.
He and his wife Marci have been married for 28 years, and they have one son, Caleb, age 25.
“I’m so excited he can retire at this age and still be “young” enough to get to do something like this,” Marci said. “And I’m proud of all the work he’s done to get here. It was a lot of long days for him.”