David Simmons, CFVC Board of Directors
Law Enforcement Representative
Lieutenant, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
How did you come to be involved with CFVC?
In 2004 when I transferred into Criminal Investigations and took over as the night shift Sergeant I also took over responsibility of overseeing the investigation of all of the Domestic Violence cases for the Sheriff’s Office. I had dealt with the CFVC in the past as a Uniform Patrol Sergeant and I knew of the CFVC, but not too much of what they did. In my new role I quickly learned all that the CFVC did and how much work they do with family violence survivors and their families. I quickly was introduced to the Cherokee County Domestic Violence Task Force and became a very active member of Task Force. Before I knew it I was taking classes, making regular visits to CFVC, and soon after I was teaching classes on Domestic Violence. I was asked to join the Board in 2013 as a law enforcement representative.
What has made you remain committed to CFVC since then?
Through my work in investigating crimes of Domestic Violence I got to see all sides of the ongoing problem. I believe my perspective as a law enforcement professional helps bring another point of view to the table. What has made me remain committed to CFVC…I believe in the work being done and I believe there is always more work to be done.
Describe your role on the CFVC Board – are you working on any special projects?
My role is to bring my perspective and life experiences to the table. I use them to help guide the board in making the most wise decisions as to the direction the CFVC should be going. As far as projects go, I put together a fund raiser in the form of a Poker Run. Kind of a combination of a scavenger hunt and a sightseeing trip where you visit pre-determined places and draw a card to help make a poker hand. With the help of my daughter, the other members of the board, and of course volunteers from the CFVC, we were able to nearly meet our goal of raising $3,000.00. I am already planning another similar event for next year.
Tell us about yourself – what should our clients and supporters know about you?
I am a 21 plus year veteran of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, I spent 10 ½ of those years investigating Domestic Violence crimes almost exclusively. I have been married to my lovely Bride, Pattie, for 31 years. I have four adult children and nine grandchildren. I have been involved in the community in one way or the other for 30 years. I am an avid motorcycle rider and I am a member of the Blue Iron Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club. My club is also an active supporter of the CFVC, hosting fund raising events for the CFVC. I feel it is an honor and my privilege to serve on the board of the CFVC. I am proud to call many of the folks who work so tirelessly at the CFVC my friends. They are really good people, people doing often thankless work that HAS to be done. I am happy to be doing some small part to support them.
What has been your favorite memory with CFVC?
So far my favorite memory has to be the friendships I have made. From doing all the projects with the Task Force for Crime Victim’s Rights Week or Domestic Violence Awareness Week, the candlelight vigils, the luncheon meetings…all that combined has made for great memories. Seeing Tommie always smiling no matter what is happening, she always smiles when we see each other, that is a great memory. The first time we did a fund raiser with my motorcycle club and all the CFVC staff and board members showed up and watched the motorcycles ride off, good memory.
Why do you think people should get involved with CFVC?
Domestic Violence is often called a “family problem” and people believe they should not get involved in a family’s business. The problem is, Domestic Violence is everyone’s business. Domestic Violence touches nearly everyone whether they know it or not. People need to understand that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of Domestic Violence. People need to understand that many will suffer in silence due to shame or fear or the stigma that is attached with being labeled a “victim”. People need to understand that Domestic Violence can and does happen to anyone regardless of; race, age, socioeconomic standing, religious belief, cultural background, or any number of other reasons they think it cannot happen to them. People need to understand that getting involved does not mean giving up all of your free time, you can help as much as you can with time, money, or resources. Domestic Violence is EVERYONE’S business.
What is the biggest challenge you think CFVC faces and how could CFVC supporters help with that issue?
The biggest challenge the CFVC faces is funding. I know that every organization has that issue, but the CFVC is largely funded by grants. Grants come and go year to year and they cannot always be counted on. Often the CFVC has to make do with substandard equipment and resources because the funding has to go to other things. CFVC supporters can help the most with their donations; not just money. We need updated computers, phones, software, office supplies, sometimes we need toilet paper. The best way someone who wants to help the CFVC can help is to contact the CFVC and ask what is in need the most right NOW.
What do you most look forward to in terms of CFVC’s future?
More and better fund raising so we are less dependent on grant money. A strong and involved board who are not afraid to get their hands dirty doing the essential things that need to be done.
Is there anything else you want to add?
If you would have told me when I started my law enforcement career all those many years ago that I would have become so deeply involved in an organization like the CFVC or have such a passion for Domestic Violence work, I would never have believed it. But, here I am, still at it twelve years later and still a “believer.”