From the Union Daily Times, Union, South Carolina

Whitmire police chief may be youngest in state

February 4, 2004

By ANNA BROWN Staff Writer

WHITMIRE  Jeremiah Sinclair hoped one day he would become chief of police in his hometown, but he didn't expect to assume those duties at this point in his life. Whitmire Town Council named 25-year-old Sinclair acting chief in November. He has been a policeman with the town since his graduation from college in 2001. I didn't expect it (being named chief) this soon, but I had some good teachers in Bill Griffin and Randy Epps, said Sinclair of two former police chiefs. They both helped me a lot.

Sinclair is believed to be the youngest police chief in the state, according to Alisa Mosley, executive director of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association. If there is anybody younger we don't have their birth date loaded into our system, she said.

The son of Synthia Sinclair and Hugh Sinclair Jr., Sinclair graduated from Whitmire High School in 1997. While seeking a degree in history at Newberry College, Sinclair initially thought he wanted to be a teacher and coach after graduation. That changed as I went through school, he said. I have two uncles in law enforcement  one with the Highway Patrol in Laurens County and another who is a Newberry County deputy and that kind of influenced me to do what I'm doing now.

Sinclair also has a brother who is a Newberry City policeman. His grandfather, Hugh Sinclair Sr., served on Whitmire Town Council. Having grown up in Whitmire is a plus as Sinclair patrols and answers calls. There aren't many people he isn't familiar with; particularly among the young. It helps a lot, he said. I get along with the people here pretty well. The police force has three other full time officers and one reserve officers. Five is considered full staff.

Sinclair said several area residents have applied to be state constables and have offered to help the town with law enforcement. As with most towns across the state large and small, drugs, particularly misuse of prescription drugs, are the biggest crime problem, Sinclair said. We make a few drug arrest a month, but we're not even touching the tip of the iceberg, he said. And other cases we make are often related to drugs.

There is one aspect of the chief's job that Sinclair enjoys less than the other duties  the office work. It takes me off the road, which I really enjoy, he said. Council member Annette McCaskill said the council is pleased with the job Sinclair is doing. He's a fine young man, she said. He has a lot to learn, but he will learn it and he has a good education. He has a heart for the community because he's from the community and I think he's really putting his best foot forward.


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