Northwest welcomes new police chief
Northwest Mississippi Community College recently announced the hiring of Zabe Davis as Chief of Campus Police. Davis, who lives in Senatobia, is an alumnus of the college, and has been in law enforcement since 1997. Davis replaces Chief Al Dodson who retired at the end of June.
Davis is originally from Oxford, and lived in Chicago while his father, an Episcopal priest, was studying at seminary. The family returned to Mississippi and lived in the Greenville area for two years, then moved to Como when his father was assigned to Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in 1992.
A graduate of Senatobia High School, Davis began his career in law enforcement at the Sardis Police Department and was certified at the police academy while at Sardis. Davis earned his associate degree in criminal justice in 2000. He transferred to the Panola County Sheriff’s Department in 1999 where he worked as a deputy until 2004, when he transferred to the Panola County Narcotics Task Force.
He worked on the Task Force until May 2010 when he was hired as an agent in the Special Investigations Division (Narcotics) for the DeSoto County Sherriff’s Department. While in the Special Investigations Division he was promoted to sergeant. In February 2012 he transferred back to patrol as a sergeant and was later promoted to lieutenant, where he was in charge of his shift. He held that position until July 2013, when he came to Northwest.
Since arriving at Northwest, Davis has been busy filling three positions with the retirement of officers Harry Floate and Jim Taylor on the Senatobia campus and Cleatus Oliver at the DeSoto Center. He was able to come in before Dodson left for a smoother transition.
“Everyone involved in the selection process was impressed with his knowledge of police work, his energy and initiative, and his first few days on the job have certainly confirmed that impression. We are glad to have him on board,” said Dan Smith, chief of staff and vice president for student affairs at Northwest.
Davis hopes to progress his department professionally through training. “I had a great staff when I came on board. Chief Dodson did a really good job when he was here and put some really good people in place. I hope to bring some of the knowledge I have gained and implement some of it through training. It’s a really good department already, but there is always room for improvement,” Davis said.
Last year when the McLendon Center was renovated, Campus Police moved into new offices there. Davis feels that the department has a really good place to grow. “One of my goals is to break the perception that we are merely security guards. We are a fully functioning police department with certified officers on patrol. I feel it’s my duty to keep everyone safe. I know the reputation of Northwest, and I know it’s a good place to work,” Davis said.
He and his wife Christina, who is the director of the Polysomnography (Sleep Studies) program at Coahoma Community College, are the parents of an 18-month-old daughter, Avery.
For more information on Northwest’s Campus Police Department, visit the website at www.northwestms.edu.