East Spencer officially names Sharon Hovis as police chief
By Shavonne Walker
EAST SPENCER — The town has officially named longtime law enforcement officer Sharon Hovis as its newest police chief, making her the only female head of a police department in Rowan County.
Hovis stepped in as interim chief in early April following the resignation of former Chief Baxter Michael, who left for a private sector job.
She became a part-time officer with East Spencer in early 2014 and became full-time in December 2014. Hovis was appointed second in command at the department on Jan. 18. She has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years.
Board members said her long experience in law enforcement with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, and her localities and knowledge of the community as keys to their decision.
“We feel Chief Hovis will serve us well and brings a hometown perspective to the job,” Mayor Barbara Mallett said.
Board member John Noble, a 40-year veteran of law enforcement service, expressed similar sentiments.
“Having encouraged Sharon to enter the law enforcement profession, I have enjoyed watching her grow, respect, and gain the responsibility over the years. We are glad have her as our chief,” Noble said.
East Spencer has lost several chiefs over the last several years.
Baxter Michael began with the East Spencer Police Department Feb. 14, 2012, and was named acting chief on July 30, 2013, when the town fired then Chief Darren Westmoreland. Michael became interim police chief Feb. 16 and was appointed chief during an October board meeting.
In July 2011, the town dismissed then-Chief Floyd Baldo. Former Chief Ron Hines resigned in May 2010. Police Chief Eric Williams resigned in June 2007.
Hovis spent three years as a corrections officer and is U.S. Army veteran. She has a degree in criminal justice and is currently obtaining a degree in criminology from Livingstone College.
Hovis has hit the ground running, implementing a “get to know your officer” objective where a different officer attends a board meeting and gets to know and officially meet the board and staff.