LAKELAND, Florida — Former Galion resident Cindy McClenathan Sharp was honored recently by the Florida Crime Association with its 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.
A 1978 Galion High School, graduate, Sharp is the supervisor of the Community Services Unit with the Lakeland Police Department. She has been with the police department for 21 years.
She is the daughter of Galion’s Dale McClenathan, who worked for 30 years at the Galion Water Department. He was a city council member after he retired. He was city council president at the time of his death.
His death — in a way — led to Cindy’s career with the law enforcement.
“I always wanted to serve and wanted to teach,” she said. “I was conflicted with which one to do. The beauty of my job is I get to do both. I was led to my career — I believe — through divine nature. My dad passed and I lost all interest in everything. My husband moved me to Florida shortly after his passing in hopes to give me a breath of life.”
The 48th annual awards ceremony for the Florida Crime Prevention Association was in October. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has dedicated the majority of their career to to crime prevention efforts.
“This is a very prestigious award. I was recognized for the many years of service and accomplishments from all the southern states,” Sharp said. “It was exciting. I was very humbled.”
According to the Lakeland Police Department: “Cindy is amazing at what she does and her efforts are an integral part of what makes the Lakeland Police Department one of the best. Her dedicated efforts reach and assist thousands of people each year.”
Sharp moved to Lakeland 21½ years ago, and got involved with the police department six months after she arrived. She’s been doing her part — and doing it very well — ever since.
“I applied for a part-time position just to do something,” she explained. “After two weeks, my sergeant at that time shared with me that my calling in life was much larger and he had the perfect position open for me”
The rest is history, and the Lakeland area is better off for Cindy McClenathan’s efforts efforts.
“I have loved every minute of my career and I truly love serving and helping people,” she continued. “I always say I am my daddy’s daughter, he truly loved being a public servant all of his life.”
This year the department she supervises was named the Department of the Year within the Lakeland Police Department.
“I am very thankful to my husband Tony, my family and colleagues for being a part of my successful journey,” Sharp said. “(Tony) has been supportive as I work morning, noon, night and weekends. He never has complained and is always my coach, cheerleader and my shoulder to cry on.”
In 2009, sharp was selected as Lakeland Police Department’s Civilian of the Year, and in January 2014 promoted to her current position of Community Services Unit Supervisor.
She also has served as president and vice president of the Polk County (Florida) Community Traffic Safety Team from 2000 to 2004. She was vice president of the Suncoast Crime Prevention Association that serves all law enforcement agencies in an eight-county area in the Tampa Bay Region from 2009-2011. She was elected the Suncoast Crime Prevention Association President in 2012 and in 2015 was elected as the Region III Director for Florida Design Out Crime Association (FLDOCA).