For the last two years, Erin Sinclair has donned the uniform of the Benson Police Department and protected residents in a professional, caring and determined manner, according to her boss.
Police Chief Kenneth Edwards rewarded her for those efforts, recently, naming Sinclair as the department’s new Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) officer.
“I believe it’s a good start for the Benson Police Department to bring in somebody from the inside,” Sinclair said. “I’ve been here for a few years and I’m familiar with the community and I look forward to building a stronger relationship between the police department and the community.”
Sinclair will become one of the faces of the department. She will spend time, in addition to her duties as a law enforcement officer, helping to bridge the gap that often exists between law enforcement and the community and people it serves.
“She’s been with us for a little over two years and she had expressed interest in working in a community and she helped with the Friday Night Hoops Program,” Edwards said. “Her family has been in law enforcement. Both of her brothers worked here, previously, so we’re familiar with her through her brothers. We hope she’s going to be a good addition to the COPS program.”
Sinclair said the role is something she’s always wanted to do and believes the experience she’s gained through her regular duties will help her in a positive way, and the knowledge she’s gained has also helped her to better understand how to close the gap between the town and its police.
“I’ve always wanted to do the COPS position,” Sinclair said. “...I’ve kind of gotten to know the people around town and they know who I am.”
Edwards said the role of the COPS officer seemed to fit Sinclair rather well. He cited her experience, her interaction skills with the community and her desire to take on the role as the key reasons he chose her for the job.
“She demonstrated she has the ability to work in that environment,” Edwards said. “It has different specialties and she seemed to grasp that one very quickly.”
Edwards said the role of the COPS officer is an additional duty aimed at bringing the community a better awareness and understanding of what police actually do.
“In addition to being a regular officer, her duties will be to work within the community in our specialty programs, whether you’re talking about the Friday Night Hoops program or whether you’re talking about being a liaison in our various programs in one way or another,” he said.
Sinclair officially assumes the role full-time on Sept. 1. Until then, she will split her time between regular duties and the COPS role.