ROCKINGHAM —Eight police officers received promotions in front of family, friends and co-workers at city hall Tuesday afternoon.
Police Chief Billy Kelly introduced each officer and pinned their new ranks on their collars after giving details about their service and training.
“All of these officers have demonstrated professionalism, sacrifice, shown hard work — they’ve shown me that they’re able to lead,” he said. “Not only lead, but train our new recruits so that, one day, those new recruits will receive this training and eventually replace these officers.
“They all do a fine job,” he added. “All the officers at the Rockingham Police Department do a fine job — every one of them.”
The officers receiving promotions were Curtis Freeman, Matthew Baldwin, Andrew Ansly, George Gillenwater, Hunter Thomas, Cheyenne Revels, Donald Morton and Steve Odom.
Freeman began his career in law enforcement in 1997 and joined the Rockingham Police Department in 2004. He is a certified criminal justice instructor, has obtained his advanced law enforcement certificate from the N.C. Training Standards Division, completed part I of the executive management program at Richmond Community College, as well as the criminal investigator certificate program at the N.C. Justice Academy.
Baldwin has spent his entire career at the department since being hired in 2004. He is a criminal justice instructor with a specialty in hazardous materials. Baldwin has completed the law enforcement certificate program at N.C. State University and has his intermediate training certificate from the N.C. Training Standards Division.
Ansly, a K-9 handler, has 17 years of experience with 11 in Rockingham. In addition to completing the handler course, the day shift supervisor has been awarded his advanced certificate and has completed parts I and II of the executive management program at RCC.
Gillenwater first joined RPD in 2007, but left for about a year to work for the N.C. Department of Revenue, from 2014 to 2015. He has an MBA from Liberty University, is a certified criminal justice instructor with a specialty in CPR, has obtained his advanced certificate, and is a certified clandestine lab safety inspector, among other certifications.
Thomas has been with RPD since 1998, previously served as a vice/narcotics officer and was promoted to sergeant in 2005. He is a certified instructor and has obtained his advanced certificate.
Revels first became interested in law enforcement while in an Explorer Post through the Hamlet Police Department. He joined RPD in 2005 and has obtained his intermediate certificate.
Morton began his career at the Pinebluff Police Department in 2006 and joined RPD in 2011. He is a member of the SWAT team, has obtained his intermediate certificate and will apply for his advanced certificate in July. Morton has also completed part I of the executive management program and will complete part II in the fall.
Odom, a detective, worked at the Scotland County Jail for a year before joining RPD. Kelly said the district attorney’s office has complemented Odom’s work. He has obtained his advanced certificate and completed the criminal investigator’s program.
Kelly said each officer took the initiative to continue his training.