Town honors retiring Lt. Loudermilt; new officers join Troutman Police Department
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Retiring Troutman officer Lt. Marty Loudermilt was honored at a reception on Friday, February 15, his last day on the force, after just over 29 years of service, 11 of which were in Troutman.
At the Town Council meeting on Thursday night, Police Chief Matthew Selves roasted Loudermilt, who was first sworn in as an Alexander County sheriff's deputy on January 29, 1990. He teased Loudermilt about his affinity for 1990’s music and movies before getting serious.
“You are going to be missed,” said Selves. “You’re a good man, and I thank you.”
The Town Council also passed a resolution honoring Loudermilt’s service, commending him for “many years of dedicated law enforcement service, and especially for his positive contributions” to the town and the Troutman Police Department and community.
The board also conveyed “sincere congratulations and best wishes in a healthy and enjoyable retirement.”
After receiving a standing ovation from attendees, Loudermilt thanked the council, mayor, and the “great citizens" of Troutman.
"This is one of the finest communities to work in," he said. "I’m a better person because of the citizens of Troutman. That’s the truth.”
He also thanked his co-workers for their support. “To my brothers in sisters in blue -- I always tried to carry that badge with integrity and honor. I always tried to be fair and honest and treat people like I wanted to be treated. I certainly hope I didn’t let anyone down.”
“This is a happy occasion, as the chief said. I am so excited to see what God’s got in store for me for my next adventure.”
“I will cherish this,” said an emotional Loudermilt, holding up the plaque that Selves had earlier presented to him, "and my brothers and sisters in blue for the rest of my life.”
At his retirement reception on Friday afternoon, Loudermilt proudly wore a T-shirt announcing his new status: “RETIRED Police Officer: Time to give it arrest.” He greeted guests who quickly filled the council chambers for a buffet lunch and fellowship in celebration of their friend and colleague.
Loudermilt was feeling “a bundle of mixed emotions, to be honest. It’s been almost 30 good years in Alexander and Troutman combined. I’ve made so many friends and met so many fantastic folks. I’m kind of at a loss for words right now.”
Loudermilt’s passion for kids led him to run for the school board in Alexander County. He then had to leave his post as an SRO at East Middle School to avoid a conflict of interest, moving into investigations for the sheriff’s office.
However, Loudermilt missed being around kids, which led him to Troutman.
“I just didn’t feel like that (investigations) was my calling, so Troutman had a school resource officer position available. I came and applied, and Lt. Paine and Chief Selves gave me a shot and the rest is history.”
Several milestones of Loudermilt’s career happened during his time in Troutman. “I was fortunate enough to be on a call where we were able to save a person who was trying to commit suicide.”
The person later called to thank Loudermilt for his role in saving his life.
He also cited the growth of Troutman and the modernization of the police department. “We saw the town grow so much. The new equipment and technology -- I’ve been able to be part of that, which is an accomplishment for me as well.”
“One of my highs is that when you come to Troutman and work here,” Loudermilt continued, “the citizens here and the community and the business owners -- they appreciate you. There’s probably not a day that goes by that someone doesn’t thank you for your service. You go up to the counter to pay for a meal and somebody’s already bought it. It’s just a great place to be.”
Loudermilt has served as a school resource officer, patrol sergeant and lieutenant as he protected the town’s citizens. In Alexander County, he also served as a sergeant handling domestic violence, child abuse cases, and general investigations and as a D.A.R.E. officer in schools.
In addition to his service in law enforcement, Loudermilt served on the Alexander County School Board from 2006 to 2013.
Loudermilt has also been a member of the N.C. Police Executives Association, the N.C. School Resource Officers Association, and the N.C. D.A.R.E. Officers Association.
He and his wife Robin have three children, one of whom just started his career with the Troutman police force.
NEW OFFICERS JOIN TPD
Pictured (from left) are Officer Matthew Loudermilt, Officer Darin Bumgarner, and Officer Daniel Bova.
Chief Selves also introduced several officers filling open positions with his department at Thursday night’s council meeting.
Officer Matthew Ray Loudermilt graduated from Alexander County Central High School in June of 2015 and in December of 2017 from Mitchell Community College with a two-year degree in Criminal Justice. He completed Basic Law Enforcement Training at Wilkes Community College in December.
After high school, Loudermilt logged roughly 1,000 ride-a-long hours with the Troutman Police Department and other surrounding agencies as he continued his education. “His father, as you know, is a law enforcement officer and retiring soon. Law enforcement is in his blood,” said Selves.
Veteran officer Darin Bumgarner, who has an associate degree from Wilkes Community College, is taking over the K9 officer position with K9 Jackpot in the department. He has served with the TPD as a Reserve/Part-Time Officer since November 2015.
Bumgarner graduated Basic Law Enforcement Training in July of 2006 and has almost 13 years law enforcement experience with the Alexander County Sheriff's Office and Statesville Police Department.
He has completed training as a School Resource Officer and K9 officer. He has also completed courses in Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), Drug Enforcement, Interdiction Training, Community Policing, and Field and Sniper Training. He is certified as both a N.C. General and Rapid Deployment Instructor.
Officer Daniel Bova began his law enforcement career with the Cornelius Police Department in June of 2017 after graduating from West Iredell High School in June of 2007 and serving in the U.S. Navy for eight years.
Bova transferred to the U.S. Naval Reserves in 2015 as a Petty Officer 1st Class (E-6) and still serves in the Naval Reserves as a Chief Petty Officer (E-7) in Charlotte. He earned his Basic Law Enforcement Training credentials at Mitchell Community College.
Bova has training as a Radar Operator and in Standard Field Sobriety, Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving, and TASER Training. He has also completed Basic Emergency Medical Training.
He will earn his two-year degree in Criminal Justice this spring and will then enroll at Gardner-Webb to complete his four-year degree. Bova, whose father retired from Iredell County Sheriff's Office in 2017, is also carrying on his family’s law enforcement legacy.