Going from Forsythe County Sheriff’s Office to the Elkin Police Department, Captain Chris Leonard doesn’t see a large difference between the two departments
“The only huge difference is the volume of calls,” Leonard said. “Elkin is right up there with larger police departments with equipment, training and staff. We are fortunate to have such a good group.”
Leonard started at the Elkin Police Department on June 1 as the force’s new captain; being trained by Jeff Poteat before he retired on June 29.
“Captain Poteat did a great job for the past 30 years,” Leonard said.
Being in a small town is nothing new the new captain. Leonard grew up in Seagrove, N.C. which he describes as a one person police force.
“It was pretty much one guy in a building,” he said with a laugh.
Leonard joined the Army at the end of the Gulf War as a combat engineer and was released in 1998.
After leaving the military, he started with the law enforcement, and worked in Greensboro until 2006 when he started working at the Forsythe County Sheriff’s Office until this past September.
“I took a contracted job in Afghanistan helping build a forensics lab. I’m one of 10 people in North Carolina who are certified as a Crime Scene Analyst so was selected for the job,” he said. “I actually applied for the job in Elkin while I was in Afghanistan.”
Leonard and his wife have a 14-year-old daughter, and two sons, ages four and five. His wife is a social worker, working with adoption and foster children.
“My wife and I have dedicated our lives to public service,” Leonard said. “We have sometimes had the opportunities to work together while I was at the sheriff’s office.”
While with the Elkin Police Department, Leonard is already working with Chief Monroe Wagoner on a few programs. But he also wants to get to know the community.
“You will see me walking up and down Main Street a few times a week getting to know the business owners. I’ve already introduced myself to them all,” he said. “I’m already enjoying eating at places like Royall’s. The people in the community have been extremely welcoming.”
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