The Citizen’s Law Enforcement Academy was a collaboration between the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, the Albemarle Police Department, and Stanly Community College. It was created for participants to see firsthand the training, equipment and operational readiness of law enforcement. Presentations took citizens through the police and sheriff’s departments’ organization and history to include tours of the Stanly County jail, 911 center and courtrooms. The highlight for participants was the “Ride–a–Long” program where they got to ride with deputies and officers as they performed their normal duties. This program gave citizens access to experience the encounters a law enforcement officer faces each day.
In 2006, shortly after Rinehart graduated from SCC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET), she began working at the Albemarle Police Department (APD). In 2010 she was promoted to Detective, and in January 2015 was promoted to Sergeant. “I love my work,” explained Rinehart. “It gives me great satisfaction to serve this community. I supervise the general Criminal Investigations unit and investigate my own cases as well. I am also the primary Evidence Custodian for our department as well as a Forensic Computer Analyst.” The APD’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) includes nine detectives supervised by a captain and sergeant.
The CID conducts follow-up investigations of reported crimes and assists in the prosecution of them. The cases are worked to the fullest extent until either an arrest is made or the case is closed due to insufficient leads. The CID is also responsible for the Crime Scene Unit division, Evidence Control, CVSA examinations, and special tasks at the request of the Chief of Police.
Rinehart remembers the hardest part about obtaining her training at SCC was the demands of motherhood, studying and working. “Balancing being a mother and student while working a job at the same time was really hard, but worth it. I really enjoyed my time at SCC. The instructors were all ‘top notch’ officers that had experienced everything they were teaching us. My daughter is a student at the Early College now and I am encouraging her to enjoy and make the most of her time at SCC as well,” she said.
Rinehart confessed that there is an enormous amount of information one must learn in police work. “There is always so much to learn when you start a new career and police work is no exception. The volumes of information that a police officer needs to learn so they can be effective on the streets can be overwhelming.”
Rinehart finds solving cases and helping victims very gratifying. “The most rewarding part of my career is being able to solve cases that can give a victim a voice in the court room and working with judicial officials to successfully prosecute these cases to keep our neighborhoods safe.”
Rinehart wants potential students to know they will need to study hard if they want to become a police officer. “Be prepared to work and study hard because these will be things that potential employers will be looking for.”
Cindy Rinehart, a Detective Sergeant with the Albemarle Police Department, who graduated from SCC’s BLET program in 2005.