Cynthia Renaud was sworn in as the first female police chief for the Folsom Police Department in May 2011. Her law enforcement career of 20 years began in the Long Beach Police Department as an officer working her way through the ranks in various divisions.  As a commander, she led the communications, east patrol and the detective divisions.

(Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Renaud)

(Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Renaud)

Renaud took a different path to becoming a member of law enforcement. “My career found me,” she said. Her father passed when she was a teenager and while attending college, her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Looking at various careers, it was during this time that she was urged to go on a ride-along with the police. “I was hooked immediately. We had a very exciting night, and got into a vehicle pursuit with an arrest.” Renaud decided to become a police officer after that experience.

After completing the police academy, she earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English Literature from California State University, Long Beach. She also obtained her master’s degree in national security studies at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, where she received the outstanding Thesis Award and is a graduate of the 214th Session of the FBI National Academy.  Renaud writes professionally, and has had articles published in Tactical Edge Magazine and the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.

“I have a passion for education and a passion for studying,” she explained. “My degrees have helped me tremendously. Everything in this world comes down to your ability to communicate, regardless of your profession. Communication is very important, especially today with all of our media and technology platforms.”

“My second degree in national security studies was a phenomenal program and broadened my way of thinking, my objectives in my current field and has really helped entrench me in some of the specifics of security needs and how they pertain to my field.”

According to Renaud, her education has helped her to act as a police officer, communicate successfully in a leadership role and effectively work with her team.

Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (34 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on