Jan 31, 2019
Freda Lester is a retired
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) Major. Over a
29-year career, Freda served in various capacities and districts.
She served as a community liaison for several neighborhoods,
creating programs that reduced crime and strengthened community
advocacy. In her last post she commanded the Northwest Service
Patrol Area, one of the most challenging patrol areas in the City
of Charlotte. Freda has received numerous awards and accolades for
her police work, including CMPD Officer of the Year and the CMPD
Medal of Valor for saving the life of a citizen. She serves on
several non-profit boards, including chairing the board of the
Keith Family YMCA. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal
justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a
master’s degree in business administration from Pfeiffer
This episode is perfect for anyone interested in law
enforcement, community policing, civil emergency response to
protest, and a life dedicated to community
IN THIS EPISODE
- Freda shares what wearing the badge meant to
- She assesses the relationship between the CMPD and the
- She tells a story about not being liked simply because she was
a police officer.
- She identifies what CPMD is doing right in the
community and what it could do better.
- Freda reveals what her priority would be if
she was the police chief.
- She addresses how much of policing has become social
- She discusses her involvement and the police reaction in the
Keith Lamont Scott shooting that led to protests and civil
disturbance in the City of Charlotte.
- She answers criticism about how the CMPD Civil
Emergency Unit responded to citizen protest during the
Keith Lamont Scott shooting.
- Freda shares how she feels when citizens
protest against the police.
- She discusses when a police shooting is
- She tells a story about drawing her gun at a
vehicle felony stop and controlling adrenaline.
- She remembers fellow officers who died from
police killings and suicide.
- Freda talks about what makes for a good cop,
what parents say to children about police officers, and how she
feels when she arrests someone.
- She reveals what comes to mind when she hears the phrase
‘The Thin Blue Line.’
- She remembers growing up on a farm, her time
in high school, and how she came to join the CMPD.
- She talks about being a rookie cop, how her CMPD career
evolved, and being promoted to Sergeant, Captain
and then Major.
- Freda answers whether she still feels like a police officer and
what’s next for her.
plus Mark's Personal Word Essay: A Visit to Jail
To learn more, visit On Life and Meaning