KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that Capt. Denise Davidson of the Cass County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department has received the 2017 Enoch B. Morelock Award.
The Enoch B. Morelock Award is an annual recognition of outstanding moral character, service to law enforcement and service to the community. Davidson was honored on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, during the 15th Annual LECC Training Seminar in Springfield, Mo. 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. She was the first woman hired to work the road for her agency, noted Larson, and has been a mentor and inspiration to other women in law enforcement inside and out of her agency.
Davidson is a respected member and supervisor in her agency and the community. She has 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 served on the committee for Relay for Life, most recently as vice chair and chair. During her four-year leadership, they raised over $350,000. She 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 (Davis): ‘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.”
Enoch B. Morelock Award
Sullivan County Sheriff Enoch B. Morelock was the first recorded line of duty death in the Western District of Missouri on Dec. 19, 1847. He was appointed the first sheriff of Sullivan County, Mo., in 1845. He was in office a little over two years, but he was known to be an honorable, hardworking man intent on protecting the residents of his community. Sheriff Morelock was shot and killed during a court‑ordered sale of the accused=s property. The accused killer, Patrick McIntry, was charged with 1st Degree Murder but was later acquitted. Within a year Mr. McIntry was found shot to death on the banks of a local river.
The annual Enoch B. Morelock Award recognizes individuals with outstanding moral character, service to law enforcement and to the community outside of law enforcement. Recipients may include officers from local police departments, sheriffs= offices, state agencies, or federal agencies as well as investigators from prosecutors= offices.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Missouri