NCPD is celebrating National Women’s Month.
We are spotlighting the first female officer in our agency’s history. Retired Lieutenant Letty Whitehead worked for NCPD from 1973-1997.
Letty Whitehead was born in Texas where she attended Southwestern State University majoring in criminology and juvenile delinquency. Following graduation she took a commission in the United States Marine Corps where she reached the rank of Captain. Upon her departure from the Marine Corps, Letty first became a social science and band teacher in Beaufort before joining the one officer Port Royal Police Department. There she helped the Port Royal Police Department grow to six officers and modernize, taking a lead role in developing the agency’s filing and identification system. With the formation of the North Charleston Police Department Letty applied in March 1973 and was hired in April. Letty was among the original officers who took to the streets of the city on May 1, 1973 when the NCPD officially took over policing duties from the Charleston County Police Department. The following year she became not only the NCPD’s first female detective but also the first female detective in Charleston County and later attended the FBI National Academy. Throughout her career she would become the first female police corporal, sergeant and lieutenant at NCPD and in the State of South Carolina. Letty served in a variety of assignments from patrol to the Horse Patrol to investigations being the first female to serve as acting Captain of Investigations. Letty Whitehead retired from the NCPD in 1997 and still lives locally.