Although many Fuquay-Varina residents butcher her last name on the daily, Chief Laura Fahnestock (pronounced “Fawn-Stock”) is well-known for keeping citizens safe, opening up innovative lines of communication and making us spit coffee all over our keyboards with her strong (and hilarious) social-media game.
Chief Fahnestock has been slaying the town with her timely memes for years, but she is perhaps best known for her infamous, “Ham on the Lam,” post in which she chronicled the exploits of the “NOTORIOUS P.I.G” of Fuquay (her words; not mine). Chief Laura’s lighthearted approach to updating her community about a runaway pig not only made national headlines, but it also opened up a virtual connection with her community that had been previously untapped.
Who is this woman behind all the #9PMROUTINE memes? Does she enjoy long walks on the beach? Does she like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain? I had to know, so I reached out to Chief Laura for an interview to answer all my burning questions; the most important being:
Bojangles or Cookout?
They each have their specialties and I have my favorites at each. It’s Southern cuisine. While I have been eating healthier this year, my past favorites have been a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit from Bojangles with Bo-Tato Rounds, and my go to hamburger from Cook Out was the Cookout Style hamburger with a chocolate cherry shake.
Have you always wanted to be a police officer?
No. I wanted to be a female Indiana Jones as a child and a writer. However, I was influenced by my parents, both having careers in public service. My mother was a registered nurse. My father was a captain with the Raleigh Police Department. Their influence and support … fostered a desire within me to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Favorite restaurant in Fuquay?
If Fuquay and Varina got in a street fight over Bo-Tato Rounds, who would win?
I do not promote violence. However, in a pretend world it would depend on which one was “A DASH MORE!”
Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme?
That’s like asking a mother which child she loves more! I have favorites — Krispy Kreme’s chocolate-glazed donut and Dunkin’s munchkins. Donuts are “power rings” by the way…
What’s your favorite police outreach event in Fuquay? Why?
My favorite outreach event is Coffee with a Cop. This event brings police officers and the community together — over coffee — to discuss issues and learn more about each other.
What store would you love to have in town?
I would love a Trader Joe’s and a TJ Maxx/Home Goods combination store. However, I love the small businesses in our town, and I support them whenever I can.
My favorite cop movie is “The Untouchables.” Favorite quote in the movie, “You just fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement — make sure when your shift is over, you go home alive.” My favorite all time movie is “Star Wars — A New Hope,” and “The Wizard of Oz” is a close second. I love movies and have many favorites.
Do the police officers in Fuquay have nicknames for each other?
Yes, some have nicknames. Most are based on a funny call that occurred, a characteristic or a habit. We are a family, and just like families, nicknames are developed. We also have a habit of calling each other by our last names.
What’s the weirdest call the FVPD has ever received?
This one was before my time here but it made national news: “Carjacking suspect hit with frozen turkey.”
What’s the ONE thing you wish people understood about the FVPD?
Television and media do not represent or portray law enforcement accurately.
WHAT ARE THOSE MYSTERIOUS BOOMS?!
I recommend that everyone in Fuquay-Varina attend a FVPD Citizen’s Police Academy course to learn more about the FVPD and when to call for police assistance. We will have our next one in January 2020.
We don’t have a “boom” information line that explains every loud noise that occurs. We also do not have an animal-control unit. We assist from time to time with snake calls; however, it really isn’t a police matter if you have a snake in your yard. But again, we help when there is a need. That includes responding to calls such as a pig in the road or a beaver in the parking lot of Walmart.
Do you have any secret talents/hobbies?
I LOVE decorating for holidays, especially Halloween. It brings back special memories of when I was growing up in Raleigh and memories with my parents (as they are deceased now). I’m already preparing to decorate for fall in August. I make a mean banana pudding. I’ve been writing about my career, people I’ve encountered and events over the years in journals and notebooks. One day, after retirement, I will focus on sharing stories inspired by my career and life experiences.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Negative attitudes towards everything.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead