Captain Nicole Heppenstall's journey with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is a testament to her dedication and commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Joining the agency in 2008, she has embarked on a remarkable career that has seen her rise through the ranks while leaving a lasting impact on her colleagues and the community she serves.
Captain Heppenstall's initial steps within the Sheriff's Office were marked by her participation in the Sheriff's Orientation Training Program. She then transitioned to fieldwork, serving as a Deputy in District 2 (D2) for about six years. Her time in D2 allowed her to gain invaluable experience and insights into the challenges law enforcement officers face on the front lines.
Diversifying her experience, Captain Heppenstall ventured into various roles, including Community Outreach for a year, Field Training Officer (FTO) in D2, and a class coordinator in the Training Division. During her tenure as a deputy in D2, she also became a Special Operations Team (SOT) instructor, contributing to the professional development of her fellow officers. This pivotal role in training laid the foundation for her future leadership endeavors.
Captain Heppenstall was promoted to Detective in District 3 (D3), where she specialized in investigating property crimes, aggravated assaults, and aggravated batteries. Her commitment to school safety and community outreach further highlighted her dedication to both her profession and the well-being of those she swore to protect.
Continuing her ascent, Captain Heppenstall served as a Professional Standards Corporal and Sergeant for three years, demonstrating her commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards within the agency. Her role in Professional Standards was marked by a thorough approach to addressing employee misconduct and citizen complaints, ensuring accountability and maintaining the agency's reputation.
Her exceptional performance led to a promotion to the rank of Lieutenant in District 5 (D5), a district known for its high activity and diverse array of criminal cases. Her ability to adapt quickly and effectively in this demanding environment showcased her leadership skills and capacity for strategic decision-making.
In July, Captain Heppenstall's journey brought her to District 1 (D1) in a patrol capacity.
Captain Heppenstall's affinity for training and professional development remains a driving force in her career. She cherishes her time in the Training Division and actively contributes to the growth of new deputies. Her belief in the significance of proper training and her commitment to embodying the agency's core values exemplifies her dedication to the field.
Hailing from Homestead, Florida, Captain Heppenstall is a true Floridian who pursued her passion for law enforcement by obtaining a degree in Criminal Justice from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. She is a devoted deputy and a loving mother to her son.