When Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Lorine Kingcade first learned her daughter, Annanetha Mitchell, wanted to join the police force, her motherly instinct took over.
“I tried to steer her away from police work, sending her off to college,” said Kingcade, 55, who has been an officer for more than three decades and plans on retiring in August. “But somehow she found her way back.”
Sitting in a classroom at the county’s police training facility, the two easily finished each others’ sentences. Mitchell said she knows her mother worries about her, but she couldn’t have had a better example.
“I am very blessed to have her as a role model,” she said. “Seeing her have such a successful career makes me want to have the same.”
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Mitchell, 28, will graduate from the academy in August. She looks forward to wearing her badge and “following in my mom’s footsteps.”
“I can’t wait to officially say I am an officer,” she said.
Kingcade began her journey to become a police officer in 1981 after working for about four years as a clerk for Miami-Dade County. “I didn’t see any chances of advancement,” she said.
It was just after the McDuffie riots in 1980, spawned by the acquittal of four white police officers by an all-white jury in the case of Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance agent riding on a motorcycle who had been fatally beaten while handcuffed after a police chase by the officers. The officers then tried to cover it up as an accident.
After the riots, Miami-Dade police was hiring and Kingcade figured a career with the police department would mean job security and advancement. She went through six months of rigorous training, including shooting, driving and self-defense. When she graduated she was assigned to the Northside District, where she stayed for about eight years.
In 1985, Mitchell was born. Kingcade said she never really worried about leaving her daughter because she trusted herself to “have enough common sense” to come home. “People respected the uniform back then,” she said. “It was a lot different when I first started.”
She stayed on the streets for most of her career and moved up the ranks. She is now a sergeant in the professional compliance bureau and handles staff inspections.
Mitchell said it was normal for her mom to dress in her browns and go to work. “My friends would ask me if I was scared, but I always said no,” she said.
She took part in the Police Explorers program through high school and when she graduated in 2003, she studied business in college and graduated in 2008.
Mitchell liked public relations and wanted to open her own firm. She did internships and landed a job in a modeling agency but was laid off and struggled to find a job. She ended up as a dispatcher for Miami-Dade police.
“It just felt right, like I was meant to be there,” she said.
Mitchell said she definitely has had an advantage in the academy because of her mother. When she received her gun belt in pieces, her mother helped her assemble it. When she came home gassed and hit with a Taser in the same day, her mother cared for her. She gives her pointers about shooting and how to treat people when arriving at a scene.
“Other trainees ask me to ask my mom things,” she said.
And while the pair will be on the force together for only a few weeks, Kingcade said having her daughter there when she retires will make stepping away a little easier.
“A piece of me will still be here,” she said.