Captain Denise Davidson (left) of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office holds the award she recently received with Kim Case, a victim advocate and law enforcement advisor.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Missouri announced on Aug. 18 that Capt. Denise Davidson of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office received the 2017 Enoch B. Morelock Award.

The award is an annual recognition of outstanding moral character, service to law enforcement and service to the community.

Davidson was honored on Aug. 17 during the 15th Annual LECC Training Seminar in Springfield. The prestigious law enforcement award, presented annually by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee, is named in honor of Sullivan County Sheriff Enoch B. Morelock, who was the first recorded line of duty death in the Western District of Missouri on Dec. 19, 1847.

Davidson has 29 years of law enforcement experience, 27 with her current agency. According to a news release, she was the first woman hired to work the road for her agency and has been a mentor and to other women in law enforcement.

Davidson is a respected member and supervisor in her agency and the community. She followed her mother’s example working with and supporting victims of domestic and sexual abuse at the women’s facility in her area, serving on the board for several years. She has also served on the committee for Relay for Life, most recently as vice chair and chair, and has been an avid supporter and served on numerous committees within her school district.

Davidson has always had a passion for working with victims. As a young deputy, she was called in to assist with the interview of an abducted and sexually abused 19-year-old woman who had escaped her abusers. In 1990, new techniques of interviewing and dealing with victims of sexual assault were unfolding, and Davidson took the initiative to learn these techniques.

The victim said of Davidson’s involvement: “The compassion and professionalism showed to me changed my life. The most important words that have ever been spoken to me were uttered by (Davidson): ‘I believe you, this is not your fault.’ She allowed me to find justice, to heal and to work as a victim’s advocate to help future victims. Because of her, I was truly free to move out of victimization and into being a survivor. She’s a life changer.”

 

Kansas City Star