Sgt. Barney Poole hates walking in downtown Davidson with Sgt. Scott Misenheimer.“Barney is an introvert, and Scott is an extrovert. Barney doesn’t like to walk down Main Street with Scott because he says (Scott) gets stopped so often,” Davidson Police Chief Jeanne Miller said. “People think the world of him.”During his 24-year tenure at the Davidson Police Department, Misenheimer has become synonymous with community policing – a status that has helped him solve crimes in the area while also earning the respect of officers and residents alike, Miller said. Misenheimer will retire on Dec. 31 after 30 years of working in law . After a five-year stint at the Charlotte Police Department, the Rowan County resident was sworn in at the Davidson Police Department on Oct. 3, 1988.Miller said that one of Misenheimer’s lasting legacies has been his commitment to community policing, which involves getting to know people in the community before crime happens. Misenheimer, 53, said the town’s former mayor, Russell Knox, started the movement by encouraging officers to get to know downtown merchants in order to help deter crime. “There are a lot of people who think that maybe community policing isn’t real police work,” Miller said. “Scott’s knowledge of the community was the perfect example of why community policing works. People trust him, and they’re willing to give him information about criminal activity.”Misenheimer’s involvement in the community earned him the 2008 Officer of the Year from the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, Miller said. Miller recalled one case in which there were several reports of a young man driving up to preteen girls and trying to lure them into his car. After hearing the description of the car, Misenheimer was able to figure out whose car it was. He confronted the owner and ultimately found out that it was the owner’s little brother who was driving the car and harassing young females around town, she said. Misenheimer said that he has especially enjoyed helping victims of domestic violence cases. “We help find them places to go and stay, and you feel like you’re doing something to make a difference,” he said. “It’s a lot better than just locking someone up, which doesn’t really solve the problem because they’re coming back.”Frankie Archer, a friend of Misenheimer’s and the manager of Archer’s Towing Service, said Misenheimer also frequently meets with troubled youth at Davidson Elementary School.“If there was a kid who was struggling with grades or maybe socially, Scott would make it a point to have lunch with them,” Archer said. “He would try to help children who maybe needed a little guidance and encouragement.”Misenheimer has also become well-known in recent years for his involvement with the Angel Tree, which the town started more than a decade ago. The tree, which the town operates with St. Alban’s Church, helps those local families in need.This year, Misenheimer helped delivered presents to 60 families and Christmas dinner to 10. After retiring, Misenheimer said he plans to spend more time with his two sons, ages 19 and 22.“I do fish quite a bit,” Misenheimer said, adding that he particularly likes to catch catfish and crappie. “My wife says I fish too much, but I don’t see how you can ever fish too much.”But ultimately, Misenheimer said, he hopes to come back to the Davidson Police Department, working part time as a code enforcement officer. “The residents here are such good people. They really like their police department and they’re proud of the police department,” Misenheimer said. “It definitely makes a difference when you work for someone who appreciate you.”
Friday, Dec. 28, 2012
Retiring officer epitomizes community policing
Misenheimer leaving after 30 years in law enforcement
Davidson Fire Chief Wilson Sadler and Sergeant Scott Misenheimer stand by the Davidson Police and Fire Department Angel Tree in the town hall rotunda. Their work in identifying and helping needy families was especially important in this difficult year.
Sgt. Scott Misenheimer will retire from the Davidson Police Department after more than 30 years in law enforcement. TOWN OF DAVIDSON