Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson begins journey to wellness

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A lot has changed since Catrina Thompson first joined the Winston-Salem Police Department. For one, she worked her way up the ranks, surpassing sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and assistant chief on her way to taking the top spot in the department in 2017.

But some things haven’t changed. And she’s not happy about it.

“For myself, personally, weight has always been an issue in my life,” Thompson said. “I’ve always been up and down with weight.”

Although Thompson says she’s successfully lost weight in the past, during the pandemic, her weight hit an all-time high.

“I’ve just never been consistent enough to say, ‘you deserve this, and you need to take the time to do this for yourself,’” she said.

It’s not just the weight, however.

“Physical fitness is only one piece of the overall wellness,” Thompson said. “I’ve never tried to deal with or address emotional issues.”

The recent events our country has experienced have caused Thompson to realize she needs to focus on wellness as a whole. Mind, body, and soul.

“I know that there’s some healing that I personally need to do, and I know that I’m not alone,” she said.

Thompson says, perhaps now more than ever, the public perception of police officers coupled with some of the recent events involving law enforcement have taken a toll. Not only on her, but on the 700 or so employees she’s responsible for.

“Don’t get me wrong, we signed on to be in this profession and many of us couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” she said. “But at the same time, we’re people too.”

Thompson’s pursuit of wellness has started with a life coach and another member of the community who understands and is developing her vision. Now, she’s searching for a fitness coach and nutritionist.

That said, she understands that most people in the community don’t have the resources available to someone in a position such as hers, which is why she plans to reach out to other members of the community to help others take advantage of the assets available to anyone and everyone.

“I can’t tell you it’s the easiest thing to do, but I definitely think it’s the right thing to do at this time,” she said.

Thompson admits this journey is a work in progress, and in the very early stages. There’s no full plan, but her vision is clear.

“For me, it’s a journey filled with some unknowns,” she said.

For Thompson, it’s about leading by example, both within and outside of her department.

“A healthier you is definitely a better you,” she said.

Thompson, who has a teenage son with autism, also feels it’s important to recognize that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

FOX8 will be following Thompson as she navigates her journey to wellness, bringing you updates every couple of weeks.

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