• By Christina Howell
  • Posted Thursday, January 31, 2019

FCSO Announces Promotion with Historical Significance

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) is proud to announce the promotion of Debra Chenault to the rank of Captain. Captain Chenault is the first African-American female to be promoted to the rank of Captain in the 170-year history of the FCSO. She will serve as the Detention Security Services B/D Team Division Commander.

“It is humbling and exciting to make history in this beautiful community. I am honored to serve alongside the men and women of the FCSO. They work hard day-in and day-out for the people of our community,” Captain Chenault shared. “This is not just about being the first African-American

Captain, but it is about the opportunity to touch lives. The lives of our staff members, and the lives of those in our custody at the (Forsyth County Law Enforcement) Detention Center. THAT is what I am excited about!” Chenault, a native of Winston-Salem, graduated from East Forsyth High School before earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Gardner-Webb University and Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati.

Captain Chenault began her career with the FCSO in October of 1992 as a Detention Officer. Working in various assignments throughout the Security Services Division, the Operational Services Division, and the Training Office, Chenault promoted through the detention ranks as a Corporal, Sergeant, and Lieutenant before achieving Captain.

Captain Chenault has been a certified Criminal Justice Instructor for over twenty-three (23) years, serving as the FCSO DOCC (Detention Officer Certification Course) School Director, a CJLEADS Instructor, and an NCAWARE Instructor. She served the FCSO in various additional capacities,including as an active participant on the FCSO Incident Review Board, CALEA Committee, and the Detention Recruitment Team, earning multiple letters of recommendation over her career.

Sheriff Bobby F. Kimbrough, Jr. comments “We made this promotion not on the basis of ethnicity but on the basis of accountability, capabilities, and intellect. Captain Chenault has an expansive career and has earned many accolades here at the Sheriff’s Office. The agency was founded in 1849 and this is a noteworthy occasion in its history. Captain Chenault’s promotion is a hard-earned and well-deserved accomplishment, and one that is only enhanced by its historical significance.”

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