“We have to lead by example. We have to understand that police are held to a different standard. We have to meet that standard and surpass it everyday, not just in work but in our personal life as well. You don’t get to be the exception – you have to be the rule.”
These powerful words were shared by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (Sled) Captain Connie Sonnefeld, today’s #WonderWomanWednesday. Connie is a 20 year veteran in law enforcement. She said she joined so she could help and serve her community.
We asked her about a time when she knew she was serving her community: “I worked narcotics for 16 years,” she shared. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities to see the good. Once you take down the individuals who sell drugs out of the community for a period of time, you see the crime go down. It has a domino effect. Once you dismantle the drug conspiracy, it is a safer place to be. In working drug cases, there aren’t a lot of ‘thank you’s.’ They aren’t happy when you put someone in jail. But a few years ago, I ran into someone I had put into prison for a period of time. He said thank you, that going to prison was the best thing to ever happen to him. It showed me, yes, you can have an impact on the community and the individual.”
The mother of three boys, Connie said that she is a SLED agent, even when she is home and out of uniform. She knows that can be difficult during these times. “It is really hard to be in law enforcement with the way the media portrays law enforcement or when you hear someone has had a negative experience with police. I’m just glad that there are those who continue to serve.”
We are glad you continue to serve, Connie. Thank you for being a strong woman leader in our state!