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What do you wish for your adult child?

Do you hope for him or her to live a life with purpose – a path that offers ample opportunity for personal growth and fulfillment?

Those possibilities can be a reality with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

If your son or daughter is considering a career in law enforcement, it’s normal to have questions and maybe even some concerns. Whether your child is 6, 26 or 46, parental protectiveness runs deep.

But, just as you want the best for your adult child, your son or daughter wants to make you proud and needs your support and acceptance on his or her journey to the badge.

Denise Kennedy is a mother who understands this. Her son, Detective Brendan Kennedy, chose to pursue a career in policing to follow in his father’s footsteps.

While Detective Kennedy will always first and foremost be her son, Denise is unwavering in her support of his role as a protector, peacemaker, friend, role model and hero for the people of the City of Charlotte.

Denise, did you encourage your son to consider a career in law enforcement?

Denise Kennedy: My son was motivated to pursue a career in law enforcement due to his father’s background as a New York City police officer/detective. Since he was a young child, he had a strong desire to become a police officer. While growing up, he enjoyed watching the TV series “Cops” and had a natural empathy for aiding others.

Detective Kennedy: My parents supported me in any decision or route that I decided to take. My father definitely encouraged me to pursue a career in this field because of how much he enjoyed it and the success that he had in 20 years with the NYPD and 16 years with Union County Sheriff’s Office. I am glad that I chose CMPD and could not imagine what I would do if I wasn’t working here.

Detective Kennedy, what inspired you to become a police officer?

Detective Kennedy: My father was a 1st Grade Brooklyn North Homicide Detective with the NYPD. I looked up to him and thought that law enforcement was the coolest job in the world. I wanted to follow in his footsteps and continue his legacy helping people and serving the community. I wanted a career that was rewarding and exciting, so I chose law enforcement.

Denise, as Detective Kennedy was growing up, did he have any skills or interests that made you think he’d be a good fit for law enforcement?

Denise Kennedy: He has always been athletic and a team player. He possesses a strong personality and excellent communication skills when interacting with others.

How do you feel about your son being a CMPD officer?

Denise Kennedy: I take great pride in my son and his career choice. He truly embodies the values represented by the badge he wears.

I am delighted to see his success in the CMPD and to witness him continue our family tradition by following in his father’s footsteps as a homicide detective.

What do you say when telling others about your son’s career?

Denise Kennedy: I enjoy watching him thrive. He possesses kindness, bravery and a drive to lead in his work.

Detective Kennedy, why did you choose CMPD?

Detective Kennedy: After my father retired from the NYPD, we moved to the Charlotte area and my father began working for the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

When I decided that I wanted to go into law enforcement, I knew that I wanted to join a city police department rather than a sheriff’s office. I did not want to go back to New York, so I looked into CMPD.

I loved how CMPD was a larger police department with room to grow and advance my career. I loved how there were so many different specialized units and jobs within the police department itself. CMPD had great facilities and awesome training as well. The pay was also the best in the area.

What would you tell parents whose children are considering joining CMPD?

Detective Kennedy: CMPD is the best police department in the country.

The pay is among the best, and the facilities, training, resources and technology are far beyond most police departments. CMPD is a family and you can trust that everyone is going to do everything they can to make sure the community is safe and that your child will come home safe after a shift.

Denise, as a mom and former law enforcement spouse, anything you’d add?

Denise Kennedy: Working in a police department offers various roles, such as patrol officer, detective, K-9 officer, Narcotics, Special Victims, Special Operations, Bomb Squad and Aviation.

According to Confucius, if you choose a job you love, it won’t feel like work. Being a police officer requires courage, compassion and dedication. My husband used to describe it as having a front-row seat to the Greatest Show on Earth!

Learn more

Want to learn more about your loved one’s journey to the badge? Visit our recruitment blog or watch our award-winning docuseries to go behind the scenes with Recruit Class 193.