Mrs. Frankie Crane Poteat, 75, of Old Fort, passed away Saturday, June 9, 2012 at her residence in Old Fort. Born on June 26, 1936 in McDowell County, she was the daughter of the late Gudger Crane and Bertie Mae Parkins Morris.
Mrs. Poteat was a member of Bethel United Methodist Church in Old Fort. She retired as the Chief of Police for the city of Old Fort and was the first female Chief of Police in the State of North Carolina. She was also one of the first female police officers in the state. Mostly recently, she was a mediator for the McDowell County Court System. She was a member of the Board of Aldermans for the City of Old Fort.
The McDowell News has a story. Here’s a sample:
Poteat served the town of Old Fort for decades as a police chief, member of the Board of Aldermen and civic leader. A native of McDowell County, she went to work for the Old Fort Police Department in 1978 and soon became the town’s police chief. Prior to that, she had worked for around 20 years as a police officer in other places, according to Melvin Lytle, the town’s current chief of police.
Poteat was the first female police chief in North Carolina. She was also one of the first female police officers in the state.
“She was a very well-respected person,” said Lytle.
Not long after she took over the Old Fort Police Department, WBTV did a “Carolina Camera” segment about Poteat and her status as the only female police chief in North Carolina.