Saturday, June 28, 2014
Summerville Police Department’s Lt. Rick Peeples, 38, got his start in Summerville.
A local, Lt. Peeples was a police cadet at SPD. In his 18 years as a policeman he’s worked in Beaufort County for a few years and North Charleston for several more before coming back to work in his hometown.
The Summerville native graduated from Summerville High School and has an associates degree from Trident Technical College in criminal justice. “Halfway through I decided to change my major from engineering to criminal justice. It just seemed interesting,” he said.
Lt. Peeples is the SPD training officer, meaning he’s responsible for “making sure all officers receive necessary training.” He’s also in charge of the Citizens Police Academy.
His specialty training includes accident reconstruction, and he’s certified as a driving instructor, Taser instructor and baton instructor.
“I enjoy teaching… especially driving,” he said.
The lieutenant said his role as training officer is relatively new and has been a welcomed change; Lt. Peeples said he’s spent his entire career on the night shift before switching to the daytime job.
He said his worst experience on the job was shortly after becoming trained in accident reconstruction: “It was my first case and it was for the death of a 3-year-old.”
His favorite part of working at SPD is the “camaraderie of the department. It’s a family-like atmosphere.”
When asked if he would like to be promoted further, Lt. Peeples said “I’m already higher than I ever wanted to be.”
His professional goals as training officer include implementing more monthly training and expanding the training hours required per officer.
Although he grew up in Summerville, Lt. Peeples now lives in Mount Pleasant with his wife, Mary Catherine. They have one furry child, a 4-year-old Australian Cattle Dog named Abbie.
For fun, the lieutenant enjoys woodworking and riding his motorcycle, although he said he wouldn’t ever want to be a motorcycle police officer: “It’s a lot of fun when you want to ride, not when you have to.”
Mary Catherine is an art teacher and the two enjoy antiquing and completing DIY projects together. The couple is building a new house and their personal goals all involve completing home improvement projects.