Saluda police chief takes new investigator job at sheriff’s office

Published 11:52 am Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lindsey, who was also one of the first female police chiefs in Western North Carolina, turned in her resignation to Saluda last Thursday. Her last day with the town will be March 18.

Sheriff Hill says Lindsey will be in charge of monitoring sex offenders within the county and will work on special operations with state agencies.

He said the bad economy is resulting in more crimes such as larceny and narcotics and the new investigator position also can help with those crimes. Hill added that his office has had to deal with child sexual molestation cases, which the new position can investigate.

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Sheriff Hill told commissioners last week that the sheriff&squo;s office has seen an increase in property crimes over the past year due to the rise in unemployment and the rise in drug use.

Hill shared recent crime statistics with commissioners last week with reports on property, domestic, drug and traffic crimes since his appointment as sheriff last November, comparing the figures to a year ago.

&dquo;One of the biggest increases in numbers if you will look is the amount of stolen items,&dquo; sheriff Hill reported. &dquo;From one year ago, this amount has increased over $50,000 in property stolen.

Hill also said a new investigator position is needed due to the amount of cases left by the previous administration.

&dquo;The Polk County Sheriff&squo;s Office has over 1,500 current open cases which need to be re-opened and assigned,&dquo; said sheriff Hill. &dquo;This task can only be accomplished by upgrading this current position to supply the manpower to handle the amount of numbers left by the last administration.&dquo;

The extra cost to the county to reclassify a deputy position to investigator is approximately $1,500 to 2,000 per year, according to Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson.

Lindsey, a Polk County native, has worked for all three municipal police departments in the county.

She says she fell in love with law enforcement after beginning a dispatcher position for the Town of Tryon in 1999. Prior to that time, she held customer service positions with large companies in Atlanta, Ga.

Lindsey graduated from Tryon High School in 1992 and later attended Gardner Webb University. After completing basic law enforcement training at Blue Ridge Community College, she began as a Tryon police officer and later was an officer for the Columbus Police Department. She was an officer with the Saluda Police Department for three years prior to becoming chief. She holds numerous basic law enforcement certifications and has completed a criminal investigations certification program.