Police Department promotes deserving officers

Police Department promotes deserving officers
Posted on 09/26/2017

The Rocky Mount Police Department (RMPD) has two new captains and two new lieutenants in its ranks. Captain Henry King and Lieutenant Thomas Seighman serve in the Criminal Investigative Division. Captain Mike Whitley and Lieutenant Beth Carlton respectively serve in the Support Services Division and Patrol Division.

Combined, the four officers have 86 years of experience on the police force, with Whitley having joined the department in 1993, Carlton in 1994, Seighman in 1995 and King in 2000.

All four officers began their careers in the Patrol Services Division, and each has worked in the Criminal Investigative Division (CID). Serving and helping others is a running theme with all four officers.

I enjoy watching younger officers progress,” commented Carlton. “It’s just nice to see officers you’ve helped coming up through the ranks.

A former security police specialist in the United States Airforce, Carlton earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees from North Carolina Wesleyan College, one in justice studies and the other in sociology. Since joining the department, she has served in a variety of positions, including school resource officer, community relations officer, bike officer, patrol sergeant and detective sergeant.

During Seighman’s more than 22 years of service, he has worked 13 years in Patrol Services, and the remaining nine years have been with CID. A graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in business administration and a concentration in finance, Seighman sees mentoring the next generation of police officers as vital for the future.

The part of my job I enjoy most is working with younger officers and helping them develop into better investigators,” said Seighman.

A diverse group of officers, it is their desire to make a difference in the lives of others.

I believe we are put on this earth to serve others,” said King. “I chose law enforcement because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Working together in unity helps make a better city and country.

King served his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps for four years. He has represented the police department in numerous capacities, including as a bike officer, school resource officer and most recently as a lieutenant in the Professional Standards Division. A graduate of North Carolina Central University, King also serves as an Executive Board member on the North Carolina Internal Affairs Investigation Association and is assigned to the North Carolina Secretary State Task Force and Homeland Security Investigative Task Force.

The longest serving officer of the four, Whitley spent four years in the North Carolina Army National Guard before joining the force and continued as a guardsman for six more years. An incident in his youth helped him decide his future.

In 1987, when I was a teenager, I watched Police and Fire work on a subject at the beach that had been hit by a car crossing the road. They were working hard to help him and keep the public at a safe distance,” remembered Whitley. “I knew then that I wanted to be a part of something that made a difference in someone's life.

Whitley obtained an associate’s degree in criminal justice technology from Nash Community College and a bachelor’s degree in justice studies from North Carolina Wesleyan College. He has attended several advance training schools in management during his tenure, including the prestigious Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) at Boston College earlier this year. He ascended to his current position after the retirement of Linda Jones, a 30-year department employee.

With these four officers on the job, the citizens of Rocky Mount can rest assured they are in good hands.