After protecting and serving the City of Hinesville for 43 years Hinesville Police Captain Stella Melanson has announced her retirement.
According to a release posted to the HPD Facebook page Captain Melanson began working at HPD in December of 1976 as a reserve officer. In 1978 she transitioned to a fulltime position and became Hinesville's first certified female peace officer.
During her time at HPD she has served on patrol, within their Detective's Division, and then their Administrative Services Division.
She is credited with starting HPD’s neighborhood watch program in 1980, and also stood up the D.A.R.E and G.R.E.A.T programs within the Liberty County School System.
Captain Melanson worked within the community as well serving on many boards including Family Connections and was a founding member of the Tri-County Protective Agency for domestic violence victims. Over the past 43 years there has not been one area of the police department Captain Melanson has not had a part in, the release noted.
Over the years Captain Melanson has served under six different Police Chiefs. She has served with the Hinesville Police Department longer than any other officer to date. She surpassed the late Major Thomas Cribbs who served 41 years with the department before retiring in 2016.
Leading up to her retirement Captain Melanson has remained a humble servant to the people in the community and to the female officers that have since joined HPD.
“Captain Melanson might not be serving high risk search warrants anymore but without a doubt she makes sure the daily functions of this organization run smoothly,” the release stated. “She is a constant, she is a known variable and she can be counted on by everyone here in this building and within this community to provide quality service to everyone. These hallways will not feel the same without Captain Melanson walking them. We wish you well on your retirement, make sure you visit often. Thank you for a lifelong dedication to the citizens of this community.”