Longview Police Officer David Cheatham: Protector of the Community
1. Name of Officer: David L. Cheatham
2. Education: Whitehouse High School (Graduated 1984), Army Basic Training (1984); Army AIT
3. Prior job experience if any? Military Police Core 1985; East Texas Police Academy Peace Officer License (1989); Intermediate Peace Officer (1996) Advanced Peace Officer (1999); TCOLE Instructor Proficiency (2005) Master Peace Officer (2005); 2,674 hours of continued education
4. Hometown: Whitehouse, TX
5. How do you feel when you put on your uniform each day? I was a Military Police Officer 1985-1987. Putting on the uniform can be a mixed bag of emotions. Some days I still get that old excitement that” there is no way of knowing what will happen today” and that is a good thing but then on other days I get that feeling “there is no way of knowing what will happen today” and that is a bad thing.
6. People don’t often understand how hard police officers work to keep citizens safe, what inspired, you to become a protector of the community and can you tell us if any daily risks you’ve seen or experienced? I began my law enforcement career as my then Father in law and brother in law and my father had all served in the military and I felt the desire to do so as well. Choosing the Military Police was simply a natural selection for me.
7. What is a misconception you have seen that the public have about the Police? There are many misconceptions of police. (1) We all know and like each other. (2) All police and federal computers are linked together like on TV. (3) There is always video or DNA to help solve crimes, which is my favorite. (4) All police like donuts (Ok I do but my wife doesn’t).
8. As a Police officer, what do you want your legacy to be? That I made a positive difference in the lives of the community I serve(d).
9. What was one of your toughest days on the job.: The first time I, helplessly, watched a child die.
10. How does your family feel about you being a police officer? Since my wife and I are each on the police force there aren’t any times that family has questioned our decision to do police work (Not that I recall anyway).
11. Police officers work long hours and the work is very stressful, how do you like to relax? My wife and I live in the country and if I am feeling stressed I get on the bulldozer and push down trees. I am a firm believer if you own a bull dozer you should never be stressed too long.
12. If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing what would it be? Be a fireman, LOL everyone loves firemen, they don’t write tickets or take you to jail.
13. In a time when pop culture encourages not co-operating with police officers, can you expand on the dangers this causes? The average citizen doesn’t realize the danger that “not cooperating” brings to the table. The officer will have no idea why you aren’t cooperating, are you wanted for some unknown crime, are you going to try and hurt, kill the officer? Even if you believe you are innocent of whatever cooperate. There is a time and place to plead your case and it’s never on the side of the road.
14. As a champion of the community and symbol of justice how can we as a community better support the police? Show that you support your officers publicly.
15. Do police officers really like donuts? Police Officer’s like donuts because everyone (almost) likes donuts.
16. Do you think the Cowboys have a shot at the Super Bowl this year and why? As was my father I am always a loyal Cowboys fan and I always believe they have a shot.